For Donthi Balamallesh of Masaipet, the scene of Secunderabad-bound Nanded passenger train crashing into a private school bus on Thursday morning was nothing short of a horror movie.
“Everything was over in a few seconds,” Mr. Balamallesh said, recounting the tragic incident. He saw both the bus moving on the Masaipet-Toopran road and approaching the railway track and the train chugging towards the bus, seconds before the train rammed the ill-fated bus and dragged it for nearly 100 metres.
“The cries of students and those working in the nearby fields are still ringing in my ears. I dread to recall the horrific incident,” a shocked Balamallesh said. He was a few yards away from the accident site, as he came there on his bicycle to urinate.
“As the train hit the bus, a couple of students sprang out of the window due to the intensity of the accident, while the bus rolled over thrice,” he explained. Books, water bottles and lunch boxes were strewn along the railway track, the eyewitness said.
“I ran to the spot where the train came to a halt and so did the farm workers, passersby and some workers of a private construction company. We all tried to pull out the students from the mangled bus. We could rescue seven children, but what was heart-rending was that an injured girl died in my hands while I was pulling her out,” said Mr. Balamallesh.
He opined that the room constructed for gateman might have obstructed the bus driver’s view from seeing the train.