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Khatauli Samaritans save the day – Survivors praise locals for timely help

Mohammed Dilshad, 48, is nursing a broken spleen and a wounded leg at the district hospital here. On his lips are just these words — “Kudrat ka karishma hai (it’s a miracle of God)”.A native of this Uttar Pradesh town, Dilshad frequently takes the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express for Delhi where he works. On the fateful Saturday evening, he ended up being locked inside the S-2 coach — the carriage that had climbed on to another during the accident at Khatauli.“We were all hanging precariously in the carriage. Many of my fellow passengers suffered terrible injuries. All, I recall is that there was a very loud and continuous thud around 5.40 pm and then the bogie was swerved over another,” he said.The S-2 coach suffered such a massive impact that all its wheels came off and it ended up dangling on the pantry car, with its one end ramming the facade of a house nearby.“The doors were crushed, so we went to the emergency windows and then, slowly, we all climbed down to the roof of the coach below and eventually to the ground,” Dilshad said. Shariq Nasim, 32, says he gets nightmares and his head whirls. “I got hit on the head. Also, my leg got broken. I can’t even recall if I was in S-5 or S-6. Mere thought of the accident terrifies me,” said the city resident, before being taken for a leg plaster at a district hospital.Many survivors said the death toll would have been much more but for the timely help rendered by residents of this Uttar Pradesh town. Virtually everyone credited the locals with rescuing dozens of trapped passengers from the mangled coaches.They said locals quickly provided water, food and tea not only to them but also to everyone engaged in rescue work. A Hindu holy man also travelling to Haridwar said he was rescued by a group of people that included Muslims.“I was trapped in the S2 coach but a group of Muslim people heard my screams and brought me out,” he said with a sense of gratitude.


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Senior editor with Himsamachar

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