Suri, July 19: John Marandi clung to the rod at the train door as the compartment was tossed across an overbridge by the impact of the collision. From that height, he crawled back inside and pulled his father out from under a heap of bodies.
Both John, 17, and his father Solemia Marandi, 45, today providentially escaped with their lives.
The duo, farmers from Jampani village of Jharkhands Simdega district, were travelling in the rear compartment of the Vananchal Express. Solemia was sitting and John standing at the door when the Uttar Banga Express rammed into their train from behind.
The collision was massive. The noise was deafening. I clung to the rod for dear life. Had I not been able to hold on, I wouldve landed on the rocks below and died instantly, said John at Suri Sadar Hospital hours after the accident.
Incredulous that he had escaped with just a bruise on his arm and a few scratches, John crawled into the compartment to look for his father. There were heaps of bodies all around.
He was lying under many people, most of them dead. He was injured and almost suffocating, John said.
Without wasting a minute, John summoned up all the strength he could and dragged Solemia out from the bottom of the heap. Then he sat by his father and waited for someone to help them out.
There was a lot of chaos and confusion. Local people rescued us after half an hour or so and brought us to hospital. I still cant believe we survived, John said.
There was blood, severed human parts, and bodies all around. It was the most horrible sight Ive seen in my life. Like I was living my worst nightmare.
Solemia, also recuperating at the same hospital, said that at least three-four persons of the many who fell on him were dead. The man sitting opposite me was reduced to a mangled heap of flesh before my eyes. My head and back were injured. I had difficulty breathing, he said.
After rescuers pulled them out, John tried to walk his father to the platform. But he blacked out after walking a few steps.
It was very dark. There were mangled body parts and blood all around. People were running, screaming. I lost consciousness and came around much later, Solemia said. Seeing my son alive gave me strength. He saved my life today.
Having lost their luggage and their mobile, the duo had no way of informing their family. I remembered some relatives phone number and called them in Katihar to say we are alive. They were very relieved, John said.