Bihar train accident survivors say bogies were trembling before derailment

FEBRUARY 3, 2019

Some of the passengers said they complained to railway officials on board but their concerns were not addressed.

Survivors of Sunday’s train accident in Bihar’s Hajipur in which six passengers died said the bogies had been trembling and shaking unusually ahead of the derailment.

Some of the passengers said they complained to railway officials on board but their concerns were not addressed.

Puja Gyan, 30, who was travelling to Delhi from Kishenganj with five other family members said their coach was trembling right from station they had boarded giving them an impression that the coach was not attached properly. “I lodged a verbal complaint with the TTE but got a vague response from him. Barely few hours later, the untoward incident took place. We are fortunate that we survived,” she said.

Vinod Gupta of Delhi, whose wife Veena Devi lost one of her legs, alleged that he had lodged a written complaint with the ticket examiner and coach assistant drawing their attention towards the trembling of the bogie and the rattling sound but they took his concern and complaint lightly. “My wife has been handicapped for life now. Who do I blame?” he said with deep anguish and anger towards the callous railway staffs.

Gyan and Gupta were among scores of passengers who had felt something wrong with the train’s movement and had raised concerns. They alleged that had the authorities on train heeded their concerns and taken corrective measures, the accident could have been averted.

The preliminary investigation into the accident has revealed missing fishplates from the tracks that has caused the derailment. Railway Board chairman B K Yadav, who also reached Hajipur, said the cause of the accident would be known soon.

Three-year-old Adev and her mother, Puja Guha, travelling from Kishenganj to Delhi had narrow escape after their coach derailed. When local villagers arrived, they saw the child was trapped beneath four other passengers and wailing. Her mother was lying little away. Villagers broke the glass window and pulled them out to safety. The child didn’t suffer any injury. The child’s aunt Binda Devi, however, had fractured her leg.

Nirpekshata Kumari was travelling with her father in one of the coaches that survived the derailment along. She described the scene at the accident site as the most horrific.

“Injured passengers were writhing in pain. One of the badly injured woman was screaming ‘Allah, have mercy’. We later learnt that she died. My father fainted seeing the horrific scene,” she said.

Pankaj Kumar, travelling to Delhi, said he lost his laptop and cell phone. However, what concerned him more was the condition of his fellow passengers. Steel and wooden parts of the bogie had pierced through the head and faces of few of them.

The delay in arrival of rescuers angered few villagers and they began pelting stones at them. One the state disaster management (SDRF) personnel was injured in the stone pelting. Passengers and railway officials intervened to restore peace and soon rescue work began on a war footing.

East Central Railway general manager LC Trivedi assured speedy action into the passengers’ complaint. He said that 12 coaches of train that did not derail were taken to Danapur to make a special train for Delhi.

Girdhari Singh, who was among the first villagers to reach the spot, said since it was cold, they first arranged bonfires for the rescued and other passengers.


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