Narsinghpur: "The train has fallen off a bridge and we are about to sink." These were the last words of 26-year-old Vinita Bathre, who met the watery grave along with nine of her family members in the twin train tragedy near Harda town in Madhya Pradesh little before August 4 midnight.
Just before looking death in its eye, Vinita made a frantic call to her brother Jitendra Bathre in Umra village in the wee hours to inform him about the tragedy that has struck their family.
"A total of 14 members of my family and friends had happily boarded the Janata Express train from Gotegaon (Narsinghpur) to Shirdi for a pilgrimage to Sai Baba temple on Tuesday evening," Jitendra told PTI.
Probably they didn't know that a nightmare was awaiting them, he said.
"Around midnight, my mobile started ringing which was unusual. I only heard that the 'train has fallen off a bridge and we are about to sink'...Then the cell phone of Vinita went dead," Jitendra said recounting the horror of the moment when death visited his family and took away 10 of his dear ones.
Among the 14, only three of my family members -- Ghanshyam Bathre, Dharmendra and Prembai -- survived, he said.
11 others including Nanalal (22), a family friend from the village died in the train derailment, he added.
According to Jitendra, the fact that he has lost most of his family members actually struck him when Ghanshyam glanced through the early list of victims issued by West Central Railway's Bhopal division Public Relations Officer, I A Siddique yesterday where he identified his kins as Deepchand (40), Heerabai (35), Dindabai (65) Sushila Bai (40), Raju Bathre (21), Sangita Bathre (17) Anshu Bathre (05) Anshi Bathre (05) and Rajkumar Rajak (25).
Vinita's body was found later in the day yesterday putting an end to all his hopes to find more survivors, Jitendra said.
The two trains - Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express from Mumbai which capsized first, and the Mumbai-bound Janata Express originating from Patna - while crossing a railway bridge was struck by flash floods in Harda district of MP before August 4 midnight and jumped off the tracks sending 17 bogies and one engine tumbling into a rain-swollen Machak river between Khirkiya and Bhirangi section.