At least thirteen children (aged 16 or less) died in the train accident at Jaura Phaatak in Amritsar that took 59 lives during Dussehra festivities on Friday. The children had accompanied their guardians to watch Raavan Dahan (burning of Ravan effigy) but never returned leaving their families with a void for a lifetime.
According to the official data accessed by The Indian Express, thirteen children killed in the accident include Sonia (5), Rajbir Singh (16), Sarthak (3), Bobby (16), Shivam (2), Abhishek (10), Navnoor (2) and Nandini (4); siblings Kashish (9) and Nakul (13); Sachin (16), Satish (12) and Neeraj (2).
Among the critically injured children saved after great difficulties was Vansh (7), admitted in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital. While the doctors were able to save him after a surgery removing his spleen and extracting at least 2.5 litres of blood accumulated in his stomach due to injuries, his four-year-old sister Nandini had died on the spot.
Vansh’s mother Anita said, “Our world turned upside down within a few seconds of the arrival of the train in Amritsar. I don’t know if I should be happy that my son could be saved or mourn my daughter’s death. She is not going to come back ever. Both my children had gone to the mela with their father. My daughter Nandini could not take the impact of injuries and died. Since then, Vansh too has been admitted in ICU. My husband, Deepak, is stable.”
Dr Rakesh Sharma, professor, department of surgery at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital said Vansh had blunt trauma injuries in abdomen. The condition is called massive hemoperitoneum. “We had to perform surgery within two hours after he was brought here on Friday night. At least 2.5 litres of blood was accumulated in his stomach, which had to be taken out. We also had to remove spleen as there was no other option,” Sr Sharma said adding that there was immense tearing of spleen. “Blood was being transfused continuously for the past two days as he had bled profusely leading to extreme blood loss. But his life has been saved. Removal of spleen can amount to some complications in the long run, but to control that, we have vaccinations.”
Vansh’s uncle Rishabh, who also accompanied them to the fair, said, “The train came speeding and my brother (Deepak) and both children were hit. First I picked both the kids up, but Nandini had already died. Then I ran for help as Vansh was still breathing.”
Another child Amit (5) was admitted at orthopedic ward and will be undergoing surgery for fractured thighs, said Dr Sharma.
62 still in hospitals, 57 autopsies conducted
According to the official data, 57 autopsies were conducted at two hospitals (Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Dev Hospital) in two days. Two bodies were taken away without getting their autopsy done. Of 59 dead, one dismembered body lied unidentified at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital. A total of 45 bodies were cremated till Sunday evening. A total of 62 injured persons were still in different hospitals till filing of this report on Sunday. The injured persons included 32 at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, 13 at Civil Hospital and 19 at private hospitals.
Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, deputy commissioner, Amritsar, said the administration has a record of 57 bodies which underwent autopsy, out of which one lies unidentified.
Official death toll : 59
Autopsies : 57 (Two bodies claimed without autopsy)
Still unidentified : 1
Children (16 years or less) among dead : 13
Injured in hospitals : 62