It was well over several hours and there was still no news of the near and dear ones. Having spent a torturous day waiting to hear about her two missing children, a distraught Nori Bibi set off to West Bengal on Friday evening, accompanied by relatives.
Her husband Wayat Gazi, children Rakhiul, 10, and Meena, 8, were on the Mumbai-bound Jnaneswari Express, which was rammed by a goods train early on Friday.
“The mother's condition is very bad. At 4 p.m. we came to know that Meena's body was found and that she was no more. But we haven't told the mother about her death. We just said Meena has been found,” said Abibullah Hakunji, a relative of Mr. Gazi.
“He [Mr. Gazi] is so badly injured, he is not able to talk. He was in the S4 coach. We saw on TV how badly the coach was damaged. We have been living in Mumbai for 12 months. [Mr. Gazi] does construction work, but went to his village in North 24 Parganas district to look after his land and farm. The children went to school there,” said Saiful Gazi, brother of Mr. Gazi.
With a list of 46 names of passengers, information counters opened on Friday morning at Mumbai's Lokmanya Tilak Terminus where the Express was slated to arrive on Saturday at 5.45 a.m. By Friday afternoon, there was no addition to this list and relatives clamoured to look for names in vain.
Harilal Gupta's family was supposed to celebrate a wedding in the next three days. His sister Premadevi and nephew Harikesh Gupta were making the journey from Howrah to Mumbai to attend this joyous event.
Instead, the family will now have to perform two funerals.
“They are both dead. We got to know by 4 p.m.,” said Mr. Gupta, a Mumbai resident hailing from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. The last time he spoke to his nephew on the phone was at the time of boarding on Thursday night. Harikesh, he said, ran a mobile shop.
Railway officials at the Terminus said a train with three “relief” coaches carrying the deceased and the injured passengers residing in Mumbai would be arriving here on Saturday night.
The Railways also arranged for relatives to go to West Bengal and many left on Friday evening.