'Where's My Mother' Asks 5-Year-Old As Search For Train Accident Survivors Called Off

5-year-old Adarsh Pandey was pulled out after 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express train derailed

Pukhrayan, Uttar Pradesh: At a hospital in Uttar Pradesh where hundreds injured in the Indore-Patna Express train accident are being treated, a five-year-old has only four words to say: "Where is my mother?"

Little Adarsh Pandey's question - mumbled incessantly through the day - is heart-wrenching for doctors and nurses at the Pukhrayan primary health care centre.

Adarsh was pulled out by rescuers not long after 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express slid off the tracks near Kanpur on Sunday morning, killing 146 passengers in their sleep. Doctors have secured his broken leg in a cast.

There is no news of his mother, who was travelling with him.

"A man did come to us last night saying that he is Adarsh's uncle and asked for him, we asked him to come back with document as proof," says Dr Sanjeev Kumar, in-charge of the health care centre.

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On the bed next to Adarsh's is 18-month-old Aarohi Soni, who has lost almost her entire family.

"It's actually a miracle that she is relatively ok," Dr Kumar said. The coach S1 in which she and her family were travelling is almost unrecognisable. Aarohi's mother is in a critical care at a hospital in Kanpur while four others of the family have died.

Bundled up in a shawl, Aarohi cries as doctors pick her up and take her for an x-ray. Twenty minutes later, her foot is bandaged. There is no fracture but the infant has a few cuts and bruises.

"We had all been laughing and joking just moments before the accident," said Aarohi's uncle, who happened to be in the same coach but fortuitously decided to swap seats with a person in another coach. He escaped unhurt but his wife, brother and mother were killed.