Bangalore: It was an unbearable and gory sight to see fellow passengers burning and screaming for help as they stood helpless due to the searing heat, said shocked passengers of the mishap-hit Hampi Express.
  
Overcome by the shock, the passengers who arrived at the Bangalore railway station here, said the cries of burning passengers still rang in their ears.
   
30-year-old Ratnamma, who along 20 others boarded the train at Gooty (Andhra Pradesh), said she was rudely woken out of her sleep around 3.15 AM when the train stopped with a loud thud. Her husband fell from the upper berth on some children sleeping on the floor.
 
"I thought it was an earthquake. It is only when I saw other passengers jostling to get out, throwing their luggage outside and women wailing did I realise something was wrong.When we got down, it was a blood curdling sight," she said.
    
One of the bogies was in flames, charred bodies were all around and bleeding and injured passengers including small children, were crying for help. "It is a sight I cannot forget", she said, tears streaming down her face.
    
"It was simply unbearable and a gory sight to watch our fellow passengers burning in front us, while we just stood helpless" she said.
   
"We desperately wanted to help but it was searingly hot and smoke was coming out of the bogie, almost choking us. We could not muster up the courage to save our brothers and sisters", she said.
   
24 people were killed when the Hampi Express rammed into a stationary goods train at Penukonda station in the wee hours today.

According to Anjappa and other daily wagers who also boarded the train at Gooti, the situation was made worse for the injured as there was no drinking water.But after a few minutes, an ambulance arrived with water and essential medical supplies.
   
Twenty-year-old Sharanamma refused food and water offered by railway officials, saying, "I can only see burnt limbs in front of me. I cannot eat".
    
A hysterical Rangamma in her 20s literally begged railway authorities to inform her whether her eight year-old son and husband were alive.
    
"Calm down. Eat some food. Wait for sometime, we will tell you", said a railway official as he tried to comfort her.
    
For-25 year-old Munijayendra, a marketing executive with a private company here, his trip to visit his ailing father-in-law in Gutti will "remain etched in my mind forever".
    
"When the train stopped with a loud bang, I got down to see burning passengers crying for help. It is a sight I cannot get over. I will not be able to sleep for many days to come as their cries will be ringing in my ears. The worst part is we were helpless as the heat was just unbearable".
    
According to 27-year-old Mehboob Basha, a teacher in a government high school in Mysore, who hails from Bellary, "it seems to be the fault of the engine driver who I think lost control and overshot the signal hitting a stationary goods train. It is the first three bogies which were badly impacted with the first one up in flames".

(Agencies)

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