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The human side of Mumbai

Source: PTI
July 11, 2006 23:21 IST
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For Dipak Singh Chauhan, an executive housekeeper at Leelavati Hospital, it was a nightmarish experience to see bodies being flung out from the local train in a blast that ripped through a compartment near suburban Santa Cruz station on the Western Railway line.

Thirty-two-year-old Chauhan, who had boarded the ill-fated local train from Bandra, was standing at the exit in one of the bogies adjacent to the one in which the blast occurred.

As the explosion occurred, a cloud of smoke enveloped the area and reduced to zero visibility for a few seconds.

However, Chauhan could see bodies flung outside the bogie in which the explosion occurred.

He jumped out and walked up to motorman's cabin to collect the first aid equipment. As he was a hospital employee, Chauhan took to applying first aid himself to the injured lying on the tracks writhing in pain.

Chauhan told a PTI correspondent that people living near the tracks were quite helpful and came running with bed sheets to carry the injured to the hospital in the absence of stretchers.

Total chaos prevailed at Santa Cruz railway station and it was a gory sight with mutilated bodies and blood splattered on the track and injured crying for help.

The best part was that people came together, carried the injured from the tracks to the road, cleared the way and took the injured to hospitals in auto rickshaws.

Other stations where the explosions occurred -- Matunga, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Bhayender -- also witnessed the human side of Mumbai with people voluntarily coming to the aid of the injured.

A sales executive, traveling by another train in which an explosion occurred at Matunga station, had a miraculous escape as his compartment was not damaged in the blast. He too turned Samaritan along with members of public by helping the injured.

The executive lamented lack of help from railway police and the other authorities.

V M Desai Municipal Hospital near Santa Cruz was totally cordoned off by police as news spread about injured being brought in for treatment.

Only relatives were allowed inside and others, including media, were prevented from entering the premises, according to a PTI correspondent.

The relatives of the injured complained of lack of facilities and shifted their injured kin in two other hospitals -- KEM hospital, Nanavati hospital and Guru Nanak hospital.

Another PTI correspondent from Dadar said non-governmental organisations were out on the streets and were distributing biscuits to stranded commuters.

Here too, the human side of Mumbai was visible with drivers of private cars and taxis voluntarily transporting stranded commuters to their destinations.

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