Madhya Pradesh Train Tragedy: Passenger Overcomes Fear of Water, Floats to Safety

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Madhya Pradesh Train Tragedy: Passenger Overcomes Fear of Water, Floats to Safety

Muhammad Ibrahim


As most passengers slumbered peacefully onboard the Kamayani Express, around at 11.30 pm on Tuesday night, Muhammad Ibrahim (39) sat eating a banana, thanks to which, he was well awake and had his wits about him when disaster struck.

What's more, the 39-year-old never learnt to swim and is actually scared of water, but managed to cling to a floating piece of debris from the train, getting himself and his sister to safety. "I finished off the fruit and was climbing down from the top berth to throw the peel. There was a loud noise and the coach started shaking.

I realised something was wrong and the next moment, the bogey had toppled and water was gushing in," Ibrahim told mid-day. Cold water from the swollen Machak river kept flooding into coach S5, which sank into darkness as the power failed. Ibrahim, who didn't know how to swim and had a phobia of water, thought he was going to die.

He could hear the muffled screams of his sister, Gulshan Begum (43), struggling to stay afloat. This is when he saw a fellow passenger opening an emergency window. He grabbed his sister by the hand and escaped the bogey from the window. Begum recalled, "My brother pulled me by my dupatta first, and then grabbed my hand."

They saw passengers floating along the current of the river, and they latched on to a floating section of the train that had broken off due to the impact of the accident. They clung on to it for dear life, and eventually managed to drift to the riverbank. While Ibrahim sustained injuries and scratches throughout his body, his sister received minor injuries. Both are now waiting at Katni station for a train to their hometown, Allahabad.

First time in Mumbai

Meanwhile, in Mumbai their relatives, Abdul Shaikh and Nafiz Ahmed, rushed to Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in a bid to trace their location and condition. "This was their first visit to Mumbai and they had come down to visit me.

I had gone to the station to help them board the Kamayani Express. We were unable to contact them after the accident, but they finally called us in the evening (on Wednesday) and told us they were safe and were going home," said Abdul, Begum's son-in-law.

Family lives to tell the tale

It was a saving grace for the Matunga-based Dubey family that although they were travelling on the Kamayani Express, it wasn't in the coaches that fell into the river.

Family lives to tell the tale

It was a saving grace for the Matunga-based Dubey family that although they were travelling on the Kamayani Express, it wasn't in the coaches that fell into the river.

Voices

Saket Gyani, passenger's relative

I am looking for my relative, Shri Gyani. I had helped him board the S3 compartment. Now we have no news of him.

Farida Sayyed, passenger's wife

My husband, Sayyed Ali Imran, had come for an interview to Mumbai and was carrying his certificates, passport and cash. I have not been able to speak to him, but officials have informed that he is safe and under treatment.


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