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Raigad train derailment: ‘It was like a thunderclap’

The air at the government hospitals in Roha and Nagothane was thick with grief and despair on Sunday as families and friends of the victims of the train derailment flocked to the two medical centres.

Written by Gautam Sandip Mengle , Tabassum Barnagarwala | Updated: May 5, 2014 2:27 am
train-main The derailed engine Photographs: Prashant Nadkar

At Roha government hospital, 36-year-old Santosh Ogte (36), who works in a fruit mart near the CST railway station, was seen holding his head in his hands. He lost both his wife Shrutika (34) and his daughter (6) in the accident.

“We were on our way to our native Sangameshwar to spend the summer holidays when the accident occurred,” was all that a stunned Ogte could say. Ogte’s son Raj (9) is the only other survivor of the accident.

Shankar Agre, a resident of Mankhurd, was also seen desperately roaming through the premises of the Nagothane government hospital. His brother-in-law Manoj, who was on his way to Pen, is still missing and Shankar has no idea where he is. “I only got to know from television reports that the train had derailed and rushed here. Manoj doesn’t have a cellphone so I don’t know how to contact him,” said a distraught Agre.
Five-year-old Arkesh Dolkar was sitting in a window seat and enjoying the view when the accident occurred. “We were returning to Sawantwadi from Pen to attend a wedding when the accident occurred. Arkesh was thrown out of the train and has sustained injuries to the entire left side of his body,” said his grandfather Nathuram.

Vasudev Pawar (79) was travelling to Sawantwadi with his son-in-law Ashok Palekar. They both stay in Chembur. “The train was so crowded that I was lucky to get a place to sit. Ashok was standing at the door. After the train passed through the tunnel, I left my seat to use the toilet and suddenly I felt the train moving in a way that it was not supposed to,” recalled Pawar. Miraculously, Pawar escaped with blunt injuries to his left shoulder, while Palekar only suffered a fracture to his leg.

The state administration rushed around 17 patients to civic-run Sion Hospital while another 18 were shifted to KEM hospital, Parel, for treatment late in the evening. One patient was declared dead on arrival in Sion hospital.

Dr Salim Merchant, head of radiology department at Sion hospital, said, “We were notified that 50 patients will be shifted here but till now 17 have been brought. They all are in stable condition.”

According to doctors, several injured suffered fractures in limbs and had dislocated bones while few were treated for minor abrasions.  “We are dealing with multiple fractures and head injury but no patient is critical,” a doctor from Sion hospital said.

Santosh Jadhav, 21, who was travelling with three other friends to attend a wedding in Mahad, said, “The train was going at a great speed and during a turn I think something went wrong. The engine separated and the first four bogies collided. Luckily I was near the window when the bogie toppled. I climbed out through the window.”

His friend Sunil Bhosdekar, a B Com student from Chetna College, Bandra sustained injuries on head and leg and is currently being treated in KEM hospital, said, “I blacked out and I have no recollection about how I was rescued. I just remember a huge impact due to which I had fallen.”

Sexagenarian Rohini Shantaram, traveling with her son said she was pushed underneath the bogie and waited for half an hour until locals helped her out. “It was like a thunderclap. I heard a loud noise and before I could hold something, the coach derailed. Half of my body was pressed in the soil.” Shantaram has still not heard from her son. “I don’t know if he is alright,” she said, while resting in ward 20A at KEM.
Luck, however, was not in favour of a family of three who were travelling in the same train. Three-year-old Samruddhi Nagte was rushed to Sion hospital for treatment of her injured left leg. Nagte lost her mother in the train mishap. Her father Jairam Nagte (38) is recuperating from a head and leg injury in a ward at Sion Hospital.

Another injured, Sushant Sutar (27), resident of Dahisar, was travelling alone to Kurar when the train derailed. “He called and informed us about the accident. He somehow managed to come out from the train and then became unconscious. Later, doctors informed us that he was being shifted to KEM,” said his brother Vijay Sutar. Sutar‘s right hand was fractured and he suffered injuries on chest and head. 

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