As most passengers slumbered peacefully onboard the Kamayani Express, around at 11.30 pm on Tuesday night, Muhammad Ibrahim (39) sat eating a banana, thanks to which, he was well awake and had his wits about him when disaster struck.

Read Story: MP twin train derailment kills 34, injures 250

Rescue workers have managed to recover 250 passengers travelling in both trains from the submerged bogies and the river. 13 men, 11 women and five children constitue the 29 dead bodies recovered thus far. Pic/PTI
Rescue workers have managed to recover 250 passengers travelling in both trains from the submerged bogies and the river. 13 men, 11 women and five children constitue the 29 dead bodies recovered thus far. Pic/PTI

What’s more, the 39-year-old never learnt to swim and is actually scared of water, but managed to cling to a floating piece of debris from the train, getting himself and his sister to safety. “I finished off the fruit and was climbing down from the top berth to throw the peel. There was a loud noise and the coach started shaking.

Madhya Pradesh train derailment: Village youth save over 70 lives

Muhammad Ibrahim recalls struggling to stay afloat in the water that gushed into the compartment after Kamayani Express had derailed
Muhammad Ibrahim recalls struggling to stay afloat in the water that gushed into the compartment after Kamayani Express had derailed

I realised something was wrong and the next moment, the bogey had toppled and water was gushing in,” Ibrahim told mid-day. Cold water from the swollen Machak river kept flooding into coach S5, which sank into darkness as the power failed. Ibrahim, who didn’t know how to swim and had a phobia of water, thought he was going to die.

He could hear the muffled screams of his sister, Gulshan Begum (43), struggling to stay afloat. This is when he saw a fellow passenger opening an emergency window. He grabbed his sister by the hand and escaped the bogey from the window. Begum recalled, “My brother pulled me by my dupatta first, and then grabbed my hand.”

Video: Railway Chairman says sudden flash floods led to the mishap

They saw passengers floating along the current of the river, and they latched on to a floating section of the train that had broken off due to the impact of the accident. They clung on to it for dear life, and eventually managed to drift to the riverbank. While Ibrahim sustained injuries and scratches throughout his body, his sister received minor injuries. Both are now waiting at Katni station for a train to their hometown, Allahabad.

First time in Mumbai
Meanwhile, in Mumbai their relatives, Abdul Shaikh and Nafiz Ahmed, rushed to Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in a bid to trace their location and condition. “This was their first visit to Mumbai and they had come down to visit me.

I had gone to the station to help them board the Kamayani Express. We were unable to contact them after the accident, but they finally called us in the evening (on Wednesday) and told us they were safe and were going home,” said Abdul, Begum’s son-in-law.