Khatauli: Manoj Baliyan was enjoying the cool evening breeze sitting on the porch of his house on Friday when he heard a massive thud. The next thing he saw was a blue railway coach flying over another coach and hit his house like a giant projectile.
When he gathered his wits all he could see was scores of bodies in front of the house, along the railway track.
"A coach had even rammed the boundary wall of a college building near our house," said Baliyan, who runs a shop in the area.
The railway accident in Khatauli area of the district brought tragedy for not only the passengers of the Utkal Express, but also for locals whose houses lined the tracks, and are now splattered with blood.
The accident occurred around 5.45 pm near Khatauli town in this district and left 23 people dead and over 60 injured, the Uttar Pradesh Police said.
Khatauli is around 40 km from Muzaffarnagar.
Baliyan (42) and his family are still shaken as one end of the mangled sleeper coach of the train, which had rammed his house's porch, shattering its facade, is leaning precariously on the house.
"There was a massive thud and one of the coaches flew over the pantry car and rammed our house's porch," he told PTI.
The other end of the S2 coach is resting over the pantry coach with its doors shattered.
NDRF personnel, pressed into service for search and rescue operations, were seen pulling out bodies from the mangled coach that had rammed the boundary wall of Choudhary Tilak Ram Inter College.
"We pulled out the body of a woman from underneath the coach. We have noticed a limb in the debris and efforts are on to pull out the body," an NDRF personnel said.
Uttar Pradesh ministers Suresh Rana and Satish Mahana visited the accident site and took stock of the situation.
"The Uttar Pradesh chief minister is continuously tracking the update on the accident," Rana said.
A sense of fear pervaded the site's atmosphere, while for the passengers of the train and the locals the night has turned into a nightmare.
Fourteen coaches of the high-speed Utkal Express jumped the rails, with one of them crashing into a house adjacent to the track.
Railway ministry officials in Delhi, however, put the number of dead at 12. The train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, normally a journey of about 36 hours.
Published Date: Aug 20, 2017 08:45 am | Updated Date: Aug 20, 2017 08:45 am