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Seemanchal Express passengers reach Delhi, say many of them were bound for Kumbh

twitter-logoPTI | February 4, 2019 | Updated 21:32 IST

By Kunal Dutt (Eds: Minor edits in copy, headline) New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) Several passengers aboard the Seemanchal Express were bound for Kumbh Mela but many had to abandon their journey after its coaches derailed in Bihar killing six people, co-passengers said Monday. The passengers of 12487 Anand Vihar-Jogbani Express reached Delhi in a special train around 6:30pm Monday. They recounted the harrowing experience after 11 bogies of the train jumped the tracks in Vaishali district early Sunday, apparently after a rail fracture. The passengers said they had people heading for the Kumbh as co-passengers. "I was in a general class compartment and many people were singing bhajans as they started their journey towards Allahabad," said Lal Kumar after reaching Anand Vihar Terminal. Kumar, 35, who had boarded the train from Khagaria, his native place, was travelling to meet his sister in Delhi. "In the early hours, we heard a loud thud and everyone woke up alarmed," he told PTI. His nephew Kushal, who travelled with him, heaved a sigh of relief after they de-boarded the special train. Hafiz Sartaz, 28, a madrassa teacher from Araria who was travelling to Delhi along with four women and nine children from his extended family, said, "Allah ka shukr hai, ham salamat bach gaye (thank God, we survived)." Sartaz and his family, including his 62-year-old mother Afroza and three little children Ilma, Sarfaraz and Faraz, appeared worried. They should have been. Six passengers died and 29 others were injured in the accident. Sartaz said he was travelling in S-4 coach and initially thought "it was a case of fire". "We had boarded the train from Araria Court on Saturday. I work in Delhi and I always take Seemanchal Express only to reach here. In our compartment too, several passengers were chanting bhajans as they were Kumbh-bound," he told PTI. Sartaz's sister-in-law Yasmin said children were terrified and crying, but railway staff offered "litti and water" after the accident. Khagaria's Kumar said, from Hajipur, the passengers who wanted to continue their journey towards Delhi, were taken to Danapur station near the Bihar capital Patna. "But many passengers from Bihar abandoned their onward journey to Allahabad as they were too terrified," he said. "They went back to their home town. We pray to God and thank him, that we survived," Kumar said. Sartaz said, "In the early morning darkness, I felt, the train had fell into a ditch. Only two coaches I could ahead of our's and in the rear, all I could see were derailed coaches." He said he has not offered his 'namaz' after boarding the train in Araria, "I will offer it today, and thank the Almighty." PTI KND PR ABH ABH ABH ABH ABH

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