She was still shaken while relating her bizarre experience on board the Rajarata Regina

30 April 2014 06:34 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Rohana Chandradasa
The early morning Rajarata Regina on its way to Colombo had halted at the Pothuhera  station yesterday around 08.15 a.m.  for boarding and alighting of the commuters. It had been delayed for about 15 minutes at the station and quite unexpectedly, the intercity express train arriving from Colombo and heading towards Vavuniya moving on the same track had crashed head-on with the stationary Rajarata Regina train.



I. Chandrakanthie (53) a passenger who had boarded the Rajarata Regina train at the Anuradhapura station yesterday early morning related her experience of the incident. She had boarded the train at the Anuradhapura station to travel to Colombo to visit her daughter. The train had left Anuradhapura station at 05.00 a.m. and she had been travelling in a third class compartment. The train had stopped at all stations as normally done. When it reached Pothuhera around 08.15 a.m. she had noticed a delay in the train commencing its journey from the station. The passengers had thought that it may be due to a signal failure and waited,  hoping that the train would leave the station at any moment. “We suddenly heard a big sound of something knocking against the train, the severe vibration shook the compartment in such a way that all inside the compartment screamed and held each others hands tightly to avoid falling down” said Chandrakanthie who appeared to have undergone a nightmare.

"They could hear and experience compartments knocking against each other, and they feared the train would go off the tracks"






They could hear and experience compartments knocking against each other, and they feared the train would go off the tracks. No sooner the rattle and the vibration stopped the passengers alighted from the train and started running towards the station. “Only then did I see that  a red coloured engine had knocked against our train and got entangled,  a compartment that was in front had veered off the tracks and fallen to the paddy field along the rail track, and another leaning against a building”  she said.


"Only then did I see that  a red coloured engine had knocked against our train and got entangled"


She had seen about 25-30 injured passengers inside the compartments. The passengers had got restless and started accusing the stationmaster and demanded for emergency ambulance services.



It was like a bomb explosion and children and I were thrown away

“My two children and I including my parents were in the nearest compartment of train engine. When the train was standing at the Pothuhera Railway station, I heard a deafening noise like a bomb explosion. My two children and I were thrown out and had fallen, said Ahinsa Dilhani a resident of Anuradhapura, who met with the accident. They were on their way to a relative’s house in Ragama.

She has met with this accident when she was on her way to see a relative. in Ragama. When she was under medical treatment in Kurunegala hospital, she said , “We, all five members were seated in the second compartment close to the engine of Raja Rata Rajina. As I remember, the trains had stopped near the Pothuhera station for about 10 minutes. The next thing we knew was that another train which came in front had collided with this train,” Ahinsa said while undergoing treatment at Kurunegala hospital. “I could remember while we were
screaming we were pushed out of the wreckage,” she said.




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