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The wheels of the Indore Patna Express had made some strange sound, a passenger of the ill-fated train said on Sunday, claiming that he had also alerted a railway official about it. “I boarded (sleeper coach) S-2 of Indore Patna Express around 2 PM at Indore and after an hour I alighted at Ujjain on Saturday. I informed an officer in railway uniform in my coach about the strange sound of the wheels. But he didn’t take it seriously,” Prakash Sharma (35), a resident of Kherkheda village in MP’s Mandsaur district, told reporters.
He also said that he does not know the name of the official whom he contacted. “When the Indore Patna Express crossed MP’s Dewas district, I had informed him,” Sharma claimed. “I alighted from the train, 12 hours before it met with the accident, the news that has saddened me,” he added. Efforts failed to contact Ratlam Divisional Railway Manager Manoj Sharma to seek his comment over Prakash’s claim.
In the worst rail accident in recent years, over 100 passengers were killed and more than 200 injured, nearly half of them grievously, when 14 coaches of the Indore Patna Express derailed near Kanpur rural district early on Sunday due to suspected rail fracture.
The disaster took place just a little after 0300 hrs when the passengers were deep asleep and jolted as the train jumped off the tracks. Four ordinary sleeper coaches of the train – S1, S2, S3, S4- were badly damaged in the mishap. The S1 and S2 coaches had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments.