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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Suffocation claims most lives, 3 families lose sole breadwinners

Mumbai: Ghatkopar residents Suresh Shah (68) and wife Dipika (65) were travelling for their annual pilgrimage to Dakor in Gujarat when they died in the train blaze early on Wednesday. Frequent AC class travelers, they were forced to take the sleeper coach as they could not get confirmed seats. 

    Suresh was known to help fellow senior citizens. Hours before boarding the ill-fated train from Bandra, the Shahs, recollected a neighbour, had attended one such evening meet. Around 2.30am, one of Dipika's friends received a call from her phone saying she had met with an accident. The Shahs were supposed to alight at Vadodara and head to Dakor by road. The couple was travelling in coach S3, where the fire is said to have started. 
    They were woken up by co-passengers but collapsed from suffocation before reaching the door. Their oldest son Nikhil rushed to the spot on learning of the incident. "They did not suffer any burn injuries. It seems they died of suffocation. Their bodies had turned black because of the smoke," said Suresh's elder brother Naveen. While Nikhil identified his mother's body immediately, it took him a couple of hours to spot his father. The bodies were kept at the Rajawadi Hospital morgue and their last rites will be carried out after the couple's youngest son arrives from the US on Thursday. 
    The family of Borivli resident Devshankar Upadhayay (48) was inconsolable as its sole breadwinner for perished in the fire. He is survived by his wife and two college-going children. His friend and fellow traveler Mehul Bhanushali, who survived, said 
Upadhyay's promptness in pulling the chain brought the train to a halt and saved several lives. While Bhanushali escaped, Upadhyay was suffocated. Upadhayay, who owned a grocery shop in Borivli, seldom took this train. 
    Nasir Pathan (50) and his brother Feroz (38), were sleeping on the top 
berths in coach S4. The only earinng members in their respective families, they were returning home to Dahud, Gujarat, after meeting relatives. They probably overslept, as they were found to have died of suffocation and the bodies did not have any marks of external injuries. 
Mystery chain-pulling halted train at Goregaon 

    The Mumbai-Dehradun Express, which started from Bandra Terminus at 12.05am, halted at Goregaon around 12.20am after somebody pulled the alarm chain in a coach which was later gutted in the fire. Passengers reportedly noticed a spark in the train. A senior railway official said, "The train was inspected and passengers questioned but nothing untoward was found and the train was allowed to proceed." At Borivli, when the train arrived a few minutes behind scheduled time, uniformed policemen visited the coach but left soon after. The train then proceeded with halts at Vasai Road (1.03am), Palghar (1.35am) and Dahanu Road (2.15am). Passengers said everything seemed normal till the train left Dahanu station. TNN 

    SURESH SHAH (68) and his wife DIPIKA SHAH (65) Coach S3 Residence | Amrut Nagar, Ghatkopar (W) Destination | Dakor, they were supposed to alight at Vadodara Purpose | Pilgrimage

    DEVSHANKAR UPADHAYAY (48) Coach S4 Residence | Borivli East Destination | Surat Purpose of visit | Business

    NASIRKHAN AHMEDKHAN PATHAN (50) and his brother FEROZ (38) Coach S4 Residence | Dahud, Gujarat Destination | Dahud Purpose of visit | Returning home after visiting relatives 
Four bodies, including that of a woman, were charred beyond recognition. WR plans to send the bodies to JJ Hospital for DNA tests


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