The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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On the train that tilted

London, Dec. 31: A British man was one of the few survivors from a train that was hit by the tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Shenth Ravindra, 25, from Crawley, Sussex, believes that he may be one of only five Western survivors from the train, which was caught up in the Boxing Day disaster.

Ravindra said he had clambered through waters filled with dead bodies after taking refuge on the roof of a house. 'I was on the train from Colombo to Hikkaduwa when it stopped outside Hikkaduwa. I heard lots of screaming outside and saw lots of women running towards the train.'

'The next thing I knew this huge wave came and hit the train, the train buckled and tilted at 45 degrees. I climbed to the roof, there were lots of children everywhere grabbing hold of me and then I saw the second wave come and push the carriage towards a house.

'I managed to jump on to the house by which time there were lots of dead bodies everywhere, lots of children. I thought that it was just a freak tide, I thought the water level was going to go out and any minute now there would be help.

'The most frightening aspect was when I saw the second wave coming, there was a lot of screaming, the dynamics of the horizon had changed. I just saw this wall of water coming towards us and then the screaming and the shouting.

'There was a little girl who was with me on top of the roof, then I decided to leave the house. I tried to bring her with me but she wasn't coming with me, there were a lot of Sri Lankan people there as well.

'I stated my intention that I wanted to go off the house. I said, 'I think another wave might come or the house might collapse', but they were saying, 'How do you know there's another wave ' '

Yesterday Ravindra's mother, Niru Ratman, a Hindu, said his dramatic escape at Hikkaduwa was his second brush with death after a car accident in 1998, which left him seriously injured with a scar on his face. 'I feel he's very lucky and God still wants him to live ' I believe that God has saved him,' she said.

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