Sunday, Dec 22, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
A special train carrying the kith and kin of the accident victims and injured passengers left for the accident site between Pendekallu and Pagidirai stations on the Dronachalam-Gooty sections of Guntakal division at 7.30 a.m. from Kacheguda railway station.
Another special train carrying the Union Minister of State for Railways, Bandaru Dattatreya, and senior Railway officials left for the site from Secunderabad at 10 a.m. The Union Minister rushed to the City from Delhi by flight on knowing about the accident.
Several persons rushed to the Secunderabad station for information about the whereabouts of their near and dear. They waited as railway officials sifted through the list that contained about 1,500 names. "If only you had details of the coach number in which your husband had travelled it would have been all the more easier,'' an official manning the information counter at the station told a worried woman, apparently a semi-literate, unaware of the existence of jargon such as coach numbers and waiting list. All that she would say was that her husband boarded the train at Kacheguda.
Amidst shuffling of papers that contained the long list of names, there were more frantic enquiries. "My friend had no reservation and I suspect he could have stepped into the general compartment,'' an engineering student from Warangal, Surender Singh, wondered. His friend was travelling to Bangalore to attend his sister's marriage. "I hope he is safe,'' the young man kept muttering to himself.
Meanwhile, the emergency helpline numbers (040-27705547, 040-27704056, 08552-226417 and 08552-226427)) kept buzzing as calls kept pouring in. The South Central Railway authorities also made available the information on its website (126.96.36.199/scrailways/index.htm) giving details of the derailment and that of the casualties and injured passengers.
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