‘I almost boarded the train’: Indian tailor escaped Odisha tragedy after deciding to book a different ticket

UAE residents express condolences to those affected by the tragic incident

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes


SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 3 Jun 2023, 4:51 PM

Last updated: Sat 3 Jun 2023, 5:15 PM

“I almost boarded the train,” said Mustafa Ansar, who eventually booked another ticket as he was to report to his work a week earlier.

Ansar, a master tailor at Sewn Mens, a studio based in Bhatkal in Karnataka, was about to book his ticket on the Coromandel Express that crashed on Friday, June 2.

"I was visiting my hometown during my annual leave and thought of booking a ticket on the same train (as reservation was available). However, I returned a few days early Duranto Express from Howrah,” Ansar said.

Earlier, he had travelled several times on the same route of Coromandel Express, as the timings suited his vacation and travel. "I used to either take a bus to my destination or train from Chennai or Bangalore,” said Ansar.

“Shivers run down my spine as I think about the collision,” Ansar added.

At least 288 people were killed and over 900 injured in the horrific train crash in Odisha, involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, and a goods train. The accident happened near the Bahanaga Baazar station in Balasore district, about 250 south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar, around 7 pm on Friday.

Several coaches of the 12864 Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, on the way to Howrah, derailed and fell on adjacent tracks, an official said.

Ansari’s brother Rahmat, who is currently visiting the UAE is thankful to the almighty that he left a few days before his actual travel date. “My elder brother was scheduled to depart on June 1. However, he left on April 28 due to his work demand,” said Rahmath.

“Whenever we travel to South India, taking that particular train route is very common for us. In fact, even I have travelled by Coromandel express earlier,” said Rahmath.

Residents express condolences

Ravi, from Singla, Odisha in India, is a chef working at a restaurant in Sharjah. He said that the incident happened close to his town.

“I haven’t heard of such a disaster near my town. Many people in the state are in a state of shock including me,” said Ravi.

“I have been in constant touch with the people back home and they have all been helping the train victims,” said Ravi.

Bilal Ahmed, a salesperson at FMCG company who had travelled through that route earlier said that he remembered his journeys. “I am from Hoogly in West Bengal and I had to travel to Chennai and Vishakapatnam work. I often travelled by train as it is economical and time consumed was also favourable,” said Ahmed.

“I cannot imagine a tragedy of this scale on the route I normally took when I was working in back India. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives,” added Ahmed.


More news from World