A survivor of the Aurangabad train tragedy says that the disturbing images of the death of his companions in front of his eyes were haunting him and left him with the mental trauma that he will never be able to overcome in his life.
Shivmaan Singh, who is now travelling back to his native place in Madhya Pradesh in a train along with three other survivors and bodies of 16 victims, said that he has not been able to come to terms with the loss of his colleagues.
Sixteen migrant workers- part of a group of 20 headed towards villages in Madhya Pradesh and who were resting on the tracks, were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra in the early hours of Friday.
"After the tragedy stuck on Friday morning, so many things happened. Although I was completely exhausted, I could hardly sleep on Friday night as the gory images of the accident kept coming to my mind. I think I will never be able to overcome the impact of the tragedy that unfolded before my eyes," Mr Singh told PTI.
"It happened all of a sudden. Before the incident, we had all walked and consumed food together...After the news of the accident broke, my family members tried calling me repeatedly. But my phone was off as its battery was discharged," he said.
"After the accident, we were busy in helping the officials in identifying the victims and replying to their queries," Mr Singh added.
"At the time of dinner on Friday night, the faces of my colleagues kept coming to my mind," he said.
Mr Singh and 19 others worked in a steel manufacturing unit in Jalna, a district adjoining Aurangabad, and started walking home in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday evening. They decided to rest on the tracks near Karmad, around 30 km from Aurangabad, after walking for about 36 kms. However, 16 of them were run over by the train coming from Jalna at 5.15 am.
Recalling the incident, Mr Singh said, "I was walking a little slower than others due to the pain in my legs. When we reached the place of incident, we slept as we were very tired. I was sleeping some distance away. But when I heard the sound of a fast-approaching train, I woke up. I tried to raise an alarm. However, everything was over in a matter of seconds."
Another survivor, Veerendra Singh, said, "We had applied for travel passes a week ago in our home state, but didn't get any response. My wife and children are at my native village. We had decided to set off on our journey till Bhusawal on foot."