They were born on the same day,they were both singers,both married only after they turned 55 and they died togetherdied together in the fire in an AC coach on the Bangalore-Nanded Express in the early hours of Saturday in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh,150 km from Bangalore.
Laliltha Prabhakar and Padmini Narahari,61-year-old twin sisters from Bangalore,who were travelling to Raichur to attend the 25th anniversary of a music school,were among the 26 people charred to death.
The sisters were travelling with Padminis husband Narahari,also a musician,who survived the fire.
They were located in the middle of the coach. Narahari uncle told me he was awakened by a choking sensation and found the compartment engulfed in thick smoke. He tried to find the others but could not. He was rescued from the train, Lalitha Prabhakars stepson Chandrashekhar,23,said. They were born together and died togather.
Lalitha and Padmini were united by their love for music and did not get married until they were 55-years-old. They both married widowers Prabhakar and Narahari.
I lost my mother about 10 years ago. My father married Lalitha six years ago. She was like a mother to me, Chandrashekhar said.
Among the survivors were five members of a group of eight pilgrims to Mantralaya near Raichur. Two of them escaped through a toilet window. I woke up because of a choking sensation. I managed to reach the toilet and break the window to jump out. My mother,her sister and my uncle died in the fire, Umesh,a survivor,said.
Also among the survivors was a three-year-old girl and her parents. They were rescued from the train and were admitted in a Bangalore hospital with burn injuries.
Among those who lost friends and family include JDS MLA from Lingasur in Raichur district Manappa Vanjal and former JDS MLA from Sindhanoor Venkatarao Nadagaouda. Both politicians remained at the Victoria Hospital in Bangalore through Saturday evening as the bodies of 17 victims remained unidentified.
Authorities are insisting on DNA identification by relatives, said Siddalinga Reddy,a friend of a victim.