Rescue efforts were hurt by rain,darkness

Sixty-five-year-old Sakina Qureshi,travelling with her nieces and grandson in a 9:16 pm CST-bound train,was killed on Thursday night after a local train derailed between Kasara and Umbermali stations,and in a matter of two minutes the Mumbai-Gondia Vidarbha Express crashed into it.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:July 21, 2012 1:29 am

Sixty-five-year-old Sakina Qureshi,travelling with her nieces and grandson in a 9:16 pm CST-bound train,was killed on Thursday night after a local train derailed between Kasara and Umbermali stations,and in a matter of two minutes the Mumbai-Gondia Vidarbha Express crashed into it. Her relatives escaped with minor injuries.

The incident that happened a few metres before Kasara station,about 110 km from Mumbai also injured around 14 passengers. Four of them suffered serious injuries. Officials claim relief was dispatched immediately,but locals said medical team and railway officials could reach the site only after three hours.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by Commissioner of Railway Safety Central Circle Chetan Bakshi,who reached the site on Thursday night.

The four seriously injured were taken to Nashik on Thursday night itself. Of the four,Dr Vasant Bhat’s condition is stated to be critical. Railway Minister Mukul Roy has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for Sakina Qureshi’s family,Rs 1 lakh each for the four seriously injured and Rs 25,000 each for 10 others with minor injuries. Qureshi’s family said they were yet to hear of any compensation.

Pitch darkness and incessant rain made it difficult even for locals to reach the spot.

“At 9:45 pm,we got a call from Umbermali cabinmaster. We mobilised around 200 boys from Kasara and nearby villages and reached the spot using mobile lights and torches. Using sheets and blankets,we moved all the injured to the nearby Primary Health Centre. Relief reached three hours too late,” said Rajesh Ghangav,who helped the injured.

Qureshi was declared dead on admission at the local health centre.

Her relatives were allowed to return home after first aid.

“We were going to my in-laws in Bandra. Soon after the train derailed,we panicked and began jumping off the train. My aunt hurt her head and died. I have severe injuries on my back. My cousin,and my son too were hurt,” said Rashida Qureshi.

As men from the family had gone to Sakina’s funeral at the nearby Titwala village,women back home were waiting for help to visit a private hospital,around 20 km away,so that they could get an X-Ray done. “I am unable to move my leg. It looks like a fracture. But I cannot see a doctor unless some help is made available,” said Nazia Shaikh,Sakina’s niece.

Another injured,Dr. Rupesh Varbe (37),was on his way back home with his sister Dr Priya Varbe to Dombivili when the mishap took place. “Priya escaped with a few bruises,but Rupesh has been severely injured. He suffered several fractures on the legs and back. He was immediately shifted to a hospital in Nashik,and later to Mumbai as his condition was serious,” said Dr. Madhav Waghmare,Medical Officer at Kasara Primary Health Centre,who first attended on all the patients before they were either discharged or moved to neighbouring hospitals in Kalyan and Igatpuri.

Kasara station,where as many as 32 trains ply every day to and from CST has at least 25,000 commuters boarding every day.

“Although it is one of the far-flung stations,it is crowded. However,there are no torches or lamp posts in the area,” said another person Yuvraj Pandit from Shirole village.

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