As soon as the news of train accidents in MP reached the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, anxious relatives and passengers started looking for some source of information. Here, two train ticket examiners (TTEs), set up a makeshift held desk – they were taking calls from people and trying to collect information about the passengers in the accident, all day.
Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, two trains got derailed within minutes of each other while crossing a bridge in Madhya Pradesh. At least 31 people lost their lives in the accident and 25 were injured.
There was panic all around as soon as this news reached Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai. One of the trains, Kamayani Express, had left from LTT at 12:40 pm on Tuesday and the other, Janata Express, was scheduled to reach there by 11:30 am on Wednesday.
Amid panicked relatives and anxious passengers, two Central Railways’ train ticket examiners (TTEs), quickly set up a makeshift help desk at the station, in order to help those who were struggling for information about their loved ones.
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After the train accident, six trains from the LTT station were cancelled and many were delayed. The TTEs, A K Sinha and R R Sharma, set up a table with a board which highlighted a helpline number – 022-25280005. On this number, they got innumerable calls of relatives asking about their people and passenger inquiring about the delayed trains.
People called them informing that the phones of their family members and friends are unreachable since the news of the accident, and these two officials, voluntarily tried to reach to those number continuously. They collected information like the passengers’ names, seat numbers and mobile numbers, and assured the callers that they will keep trying. “We are trying passengers’ numbers continuously in case we happen to establish contact,” A K Sinha told The Indian Express.
While they tried their best to get a breakthrough with the numbers, they could not gather much information about the passengers. They tried all the numbers, and checked their names in the charts. Later, they called back the relatives of passengers about whom they had received little information, like about the transfer of injured passengers to Itarsi station to board another train.
While the official duty of these TTEs included checking tickets from 8am to 4pm, they worked overtime to help as much as possible. We applaud their spirit and the selflessness with which they tried to give in their best and be of some assistance for people who were struggling in a time of distress.