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WB train blast: A cup of tea saved his life
November 21, 2006 16:54 IST
A cup of tea saved Narayan De from the blast in a coach of the Haldibari-Jalpaiguri passenger train that killed eight persons at Belakoba station near Siliguri on Monday.
De and his friend Gopal Das boarded the train on Monday to catch the Darjeeling Mail at New Jalpaiguri station.
"I got out of the train to have a cup of tea on the platform. While I was returning, there was a flash of blinding light followed by a deafening sound. I was injured in the head," De told reporters from his hospital bed in Jalpaiguri on Tuesday.
"I ran to the spot where Gopal was seated and found him dead. I fainted then," De said.
De shivered at the thought of what could have happened to him had he not disembarked from the train for tea.
The body of his 42-year-old friend is one of the three that have been identified so far.
The others are Shankar Saha (40) and Bhupen Shaiba (35). Another eyewitness Chandan Guin said he saw a few passengers running on the platform with their clothes on fire, screaming for help.
Some of the bodies were charred beyond recognition. "We found limbs scattered in the ill-fated comparment," said Shankar Mukherjee, BSNL's SDO of Siliguri who was in the third bogey from the coach in which the blast occurred.
Sukumar, a groundnut vendor, was another person who survived the blast. "I found Sukumar lying in a pool of blood on the platform with groundnuts scattered everywhere," Mukherjee said.
He was taken to a hospital where he is now convalescing.