Chennai: It was a harrowing experience for Chennai-bound Tamil Nadu Express passengers as they saw people burning inside the ill-fated coach.
Chitra, a passenger from Delhi, heard screams for help as her bogie was engulfed in fire as the train just left Nellore station in the wee hours.
"It was smoke all around and I jumped out of the train," she said recounting the early morning horror even as many of her fellow passengers were fast asleep.
Sahaj Ahmed, a native of Jammu and Kashmir, who had boarded the train at Bhopal said he ran for safety as soon as he realised the disaster was waiting to happen.
"It was smoke and panic all around and I ran for my life in pitch dark," he said, expressing apprehensions that he could have run over dead bodies.
The more fortunate passengers from adjacent compartments had a different story to narrate. With rains lashing at various places during their near three-day journey, they had shut most of the windows and doors.
"Therefore we could not hear the screams of those from S11 coach and it dawned on us quite late that a mishap had occurred, resulting in some delay in reaching out to them," Devanathan, travelling with his family in a nearby coach, said.
All they could see after reaching S11 was a thin film of smoke and dust, he said.
The train which left New Delhi on Saturday night, arrived here around 11.30 am after detaching the S11 coach at Nellore.
Southern Railway has set up an Emergency Desk at Central Railway station.