Death, anxiety writ large over accident site

Jhargram (West Bengal), May 28 (IANS) Children shocked into silence, survivors screaming for their missing kin, body upon mutilated body being taken out of mangled coaches… horrific scenes played out at the site of Friday’s train accident here that claimed at least 65 lives.

‘They are all dead,’ is all that a middle-aged man could say. He had boarded the train with his family members just hours before the accident.

‘Mera bachcha ka intekall ho gya (my child is no more),’ wailed a young mother, sitting at the platform of Sardiha station.

The engine and 13 coaches of the Howrah-Kurla Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express bound for Mumbai derailed and was hit by a speeding goods train at 1.30 a.m. near the Maoist stronghold of Jhargram in West Midnapore district, about 155 km from Kolkata.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has said a bomb blast was behind the accident. A portion of the tracks as well as fish plates were found removed and Maoist sabotage is suspected.

The accident site teemed with rescue workers carrying the injured on stretchers to ambulances. Many of them pleaded with rescuers to help extricate their close ones trapped in the coaches.

People moved around with minor injuries after receiving first aid.

Two children, numbed by the tragic scenes, sat in an adjacent field with minor injuries, too shocked to talk.