Surekha Nakte — a passenger on the ill-fated Diva – Sawantwadi train — was crushed to death instantly when the compartment she was traveling in was derailed on Sunday morning in Maharashtra’s Raigad district.
But Manasvi, her three-month-old daughter who was tucked in Surekha’s arms, miraculously survived the mishap.
Rescue workers found her under a seat of the mangled compartment.
22 people lost their lives when four compartments and the engine of the Diva- Sawantwadi Passenger train derailed between Roha and Nagothane station.
Manasvi has been admitted to a private hospital and is recovering well.
“When the child was bought here she was in a very critical stage. She was unconscious, totally dehydrated and not responding. We started intensive treatment and within a few hours, she regained consciousness. By evening, she had started taking feeds,” said Dr Minal Wagle, her attending physician.
Dr. Wagle added, “She has lost her mother in this accident. Her father is also in a critical condition. Her two sisters have been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai”.
Manasvi’s family was on its way to attend a wedding in Mangaon in the Konkan region.
At Sion hospital in Mumbai, Manasvi’s older sister Jahnvi is asking for her parents.
“She is asking about her younger sister and her parents. She wants to know where they are. I have no answer to these questions,” said Jahnvi’s uncle Pandurang Kamble.
Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who visited the site on Monday, admitted that the reason behind the derailment still had to be ascertained.
“We are doing our best. The tracks are maintained by human beings and trains are run by human beings. Sometimes such incidents happen; we are learning our lessons from that,” he said.
According to sources, a crack on the railway tracks is suspected to have led to the derailment.
A railway official on a routine inspection was on his way to inspect the area and was just 10 minutes away when the accident took place, they claimed.
Ordering an enquiry and promising compensation is the standard reaction of the Indian Railways after every such accident.
But do these measures mean anything for those, like Manasvi, whose lives are altered irreparably after such accidents?