Seven Malayali nuns from Nashik, who had a narrow escape, recount horror of being in train that derailed

Seven Malayali nuns from Nashik were among those who had a narrow escape after the Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Lakshadweep Express derailed on Friday.

The nuns arrived in the city by a special train late on Saturday evening. They were attached to Sacred Heart Convent in Nashik and were homeward bound.

One among them, Sister Susan, narrated how the accident occurred at around 6.30 a.m., at Ghoti located in Nashik’s suburbs, half an hour of their boarding the train.

“We were in S-4 coach and felt three or four strong jerks, soon something resembling a flame flashed by the coach. In minutes the train came to a halt.”

On stepping out, they saw many coaches had either skidded off the rails or were severely damaged. Two coaches were totally crushed. Most of the injured and dead were in the three coaches that bore the brunt of the accident.

They rang up Father Benny, a social worker, and others in Nashik who brought along a few vehicles to assist in evacuating people to safety.

Within 30 minutes, Railway ambulances too arrived as the Igatpuri station was hardly 6 km from the accident spot. Local residents too were of tremendous help, said Sister Susan

The nuns were able to escape unhurt as they were awake, having just boarded the train. Many passengers who were sleeping were thrown off their berths and sustained injuries. Many lost their luggage in the melee.

“First aid was provided to the injured. Those who had to be hospitalised were taken away in ambulances. The Railways and other agencies did a good job in providing food packets and water free of cost to injured passengers and others who were in trauma,” she said. By 9 a.m., the nuns and many co-passengers were taken to Igatpuri.

“The Railways has to be credited for arranging a special train by 12 noon to help us reach our destinations,” she said.

The Railways had on Friday set up helpline numbers at eight major railway stations in Kerala to provide information about the passengers who were travelling on the train.

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