A Bangladeshi national on his maiden visit to India was in the S-4 coach of the 12841 Coromandel Expressthat met with a deadly accident near Odisha’s Balasore on Friday evening.
S-4 was one of the coaches that toppled over. Habibur Rahaman, who had his 5-year-old son sitting on his lap, managed to come out of the coach, grabbing his child in one hand.
Once out of the coach, he kept his son in the custody of a stranger, requesting the man to look after him till he turned. The 38-year-old went back inside looking for his wife, who he thought was dead.
As a distraught Habibur climbed out of the coach screaming wife Chameli’sname, he found her lying injured on the side of the overturned coach that now faced the sky.
A stranger had rescued his wife and taken her out of the coach where many were lying dead.
Rahaman, a resident ofDariapur in Bogra district in Bangladesh, narrated toMetro over the phone how he and his family were helped by people they had never known before:
This was my first visit to India. I was going to Vellore for my son Rahi Sadik’streatment. He was sitting on my lap. My wife Chameli was sitting next to me. Suddenly there was a huge jerk and all lights in the coach went off.
There was commotion inside and it seemed the world was turning upside down. I realised our train had got derailed.
The turbulent motion of the train came to a screeching halt in a few seconds. Then there were loud screams for help all around me. In that complete darkness I was struggling to hold my son as people were falling on each other from all sides.
I managed to grab my child and wriggle out of the coach. Once we were out, I requested the first person I met, who, too, had just climbed out of the train, to keep my son in his custody. He was a stranger but agreed at once.
I went back inside the compartment, which was a hellhole with bodies and blood all over and people screaming from everywhere. I returned to my seat and found one of my bags where I had kept all our documents, including the passports.
But Chameli was nowhere around.
I started looking around for her, screaming her name. But there was no response.
I exited the coach, still calling out my wife’s name when I suddenly heard her feeble voice. A stranger had pulled her out of a heap of mangled bodies and made her lie on the side of the overturned coach.
A third stranger, who said he was coming to Calcutta, gave us a lift in his car and also offered us money. On Sunday morning, we took a bus to thePetrapole border. We are back in Bangladesh.
I don’t know how to thank these strangers.