Survivors were occupants of berths numbered below 30
By Express News Service - NELLORE
31st July 2012 09:46 AM
RK Ravichandran from Tamil Nadu could not stop crying even seven hours after surviving the train fire ordeal. The 50-year-old man, who boarded the S-11 coach at New Delhi on Saturday night, was allotted berth number 17. He jolted out of sleep on hearing screams and yelling in the coach in the early hours of Monday. "I don’t exactly know the location where the train was as I fell asleep at 10 pm on Sunday. On opening my eyes, I only saw deadly fire leaping towards me. I found it difficult even to breathe as a thick smoke enveloped the coach," he recalls
Ravichandran says passengers from the far end of the coach- from berth number 72 towards berth number one - ran rowards the door where berths numbered one upwards were situated. By the time he woke up, the fire had not reached his berth yet. Losing no time, he too jumped down the berth and ran for the door. By the time he reached it, some were already trying to open it. Some others were trying to open it from outside but they managed to open one door. He guessed that 15 to 20 persons jumped out without injuring themselves. To him it appeared that most of the survivors were occupants of berths numbered 30 and below. But he could not help crying over the death of fellow travellers with whom he had spoken just before going to sleep. With his shirt bearing tell-tale marks of ash and soot, Ravichandran shivers reliving those horrific moments even seven hours after after the tragedy.
Ravichandran is a village-level DMK leader and ward member of Ayyappana Tangal village panchyat near Kanjipuram. His fellow villagers rushed here to take him back along with them to their village. Ravichandran had gone to Delhi on a business visit.
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