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Chaos at Ludhiana railway station
Onkar Singh in Ludhiana | May 16, 2003 02:25 IST
The Ludhiana railway station, where the three burnt bogies of the Frontier Mail have been kept, has become the latest attraction for the people of the city.
Just about everyone, including politicians, bureaucrats and ordinary people, want to look at the bogies, which became a death trap for 38 passengers on Thursday morning.
From coolies to top police officer, everyone was willing to say a few words before television cameras.
The scene at the shunting site was chaotic, and there was a virtual stampede when Railway Minister Nitish Kumar arrived at around 1800 IST.
Journalists had to wrestle with policemen, who suddenly appeared from nowhere and their arguments could be heard from a long distance.
"These policemen have come to insult the mediapersons. They were nowhere on the scene when we came here, and now that you have come, they have surfaced," one of the journalists told the minister.
A D Singh, Bhagwan Singh and Sukhchain Singh, jawans of 119 of Assault Engineers, told the media how they had rescued some people when others were unwilling to lend a helping hand.
"We must have rescued eight of them before the police and fire brigade people started coming to our aid. The fire that was raging in these bogies was simply unimaginable," said A D Singh
But one railway cop did not like the manner in which the jawans were talking to the media.
"What have they done? They have merely done their duty. I was also on the same train and lined up all the rescue operations, including summoning fire tenders, police, sending the injured to hospitals. But I am not dying to go before the media and say all this," he told rediff.com on condition of anonymity.
The relatives of the passengers who came from New Delhi on a special train were all praise for the railway authorities.
"I had come to look for my brother-in-law. We identified his body from his pyjama and legs. His wife fainted when she saw the body and she had to be hospitalised," said Preet Singh, who had travelled by the special train.
More reports from Punjab
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