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By the grace of God, I survived, says Odisha train tragedy survivor

Bhubaneswar: Manikal Tiwari, the fortunate and one of the survivors of the massive train accident in Odisha’s Balasore district, feels that he got a rebirth by the grace of God.

Tiwari, a resident of Balasore town, narrowly escaped death with serious injuries to his arm and head.

Recalling the horror, he said, “I boarded the S1 coach of the Coromandel express train at Balasore and was travelling to Cuttack. I was doing video recording on my mobile at the window to show my family members about the speed of the train.”

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Suddenly, in between Khantapara and Bahanaga, his coach derailed and overturned. The entire area became dark and full of dust, Tiwari said, adding, “I was bleeding profusely from my head and suffered a serious injury in the arm.”

“The entire mishap happened in only five seconds. A young couple was seated in front of me. While the man died, his wife survived,” he said.

He said that he was travelling in a reserved compartment. The coach was fully packed with passengers, and many of them might not have tickets. At the time of the incident, the train was running at a speed of over 100 kmph, Tiwari said.

“When I managed to get out of the ill-fitted coach, to my horror I saw that my coach was completely smashed and hundreds of people were lying across the track with no movement at all,” he said.

“By the grace of God, I survived. I don’t even want to recall the Black Friday,” the survivor said.

Notably, over 261 died and 900 persons have been injured in the mishap. The injured passengers have been admitted to Gopalpur, Khantapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, Soro and Cuttack SCB hospitals.

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