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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Kanchenjunga Express accident: Injured survivor helps 2 other passengers

Hassan Sheikh, who boarded the train in Agartala, had switched compartments at New Jalpaiguri station because the toilet of the first coach he was in 'was too stinky'

Monalisa Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 19.06.24, 05:59 AM
The goods train had rammed into the rear coach causing maximum damage to the passengers in it.

The goods train had rammed into the rear coach causing maximum damage to the passengers in it. File image

A young man coming to Calcutta in search of a job was among those injured in the Sealdah-bound Kanchenjunga Express that met with an accident near Rangapani station, around 10km from New Jalpaiguri station, on Monday morning.

The 23-year-old was crushed under “at least 10” co-passengers after a goods train hit the express train from behind. But he managed to limp out of the train and also rescued two women, who had come out of the train but were unable to walk because of their injuries.

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Hassan Sheikh, 23, who said he had no family left after his parents died a few years ago, lifted the women one by one and carried them to safety.

“My parents had taught me to help everyone around and that anyone elder to me is my elder brother or sister. I could barely walk after I came out of the train as my waist was hurting. But when I saw the two didis (elder sisters) jumping out and then collapsing on stone chips, I knew I had to help them,” Hassan told Metro from his hospital bed on Tuesday.

Hassan, who boarded the train in Agartala, had switched compartments at New Jalpaiguri station because the toilet of the first coach he was in “was too stinky”.

“I was initially in the last compartment. Then, luckily, I shifted to the next one,” he said.

The goods train had rammed into the rear coach causing maximum damage to the passengers in it.

Hassan recalled that he was waiting for the pantry staff to come with breakfast on Monday morning when suddenly there was a very loud noise and a massive jerk, which flung him off the seat. He landed on the floor between two seats.

“Suddenly, there were so many people piled up on me. There were screams from all over. I could barely move,” he said.

A few minutes later, as he could move his limbs, he saw “10-12 people” had fallen on him.

“I made my way towards the gate to get out of the train. I jumped on the stone chips. Just behind me two didis jumped, too. I was walking away when I heard one of them scream for help. They were unable to stand. Both were lying on the stone chips with their faces down, struggling to stand,” Hassan said.

The youth, who had been working as a mason in Agartala and was coming to Calcutta in search of a better job, lifted one of the women.

“Just at that moment, an elderly woman came and offered to help me. We took didi to the elderly woman’s house, which was eight minutes’ walk from the spot. We returned to help the other didi,” he said.

The elderly woman arranged an ambulance that took all three — Hassan and the two women he helped — to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

“The didi whose injuries were comparatively less severe was taken home by her husband, who came a few hours later. The other one, Anita didi, is still admitted,” Hassan said.

Sources in the medical college said a patient named Anita Das, 55, who is from Darjeeling, has been admitted to the hospital. This newspaper could not confirm whether Anita Das was the “Anita didi” Hassan mentioned.

Hassan said Calcutta was like a “city of dreams” for him. “I will recover fully and again try to go to Calcutta. Ota amar swapner shahar (city of my dreams),” he said, nursing was it and hand injuries.

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