Vizag braveheart rescues 20

In a sheer act of bravery, a man rescued at least 20 persons from the fire that engulfed S11 coach of the Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore in the early hours of Monday. D. Ram Sudhakar, 45, branch manager of the United India Insurance Company, was travelling from Vijayawada to Chennai to attend a meeting. Talking to this correspondent by phone from Chennai, Mr Ram Sudhakar said: “I was fast asleep when I was woken up by screams and acrid smell of the smoke. I could see nothing due to the thick smoke in the bogie. Within seconds I realised that the compartment was on fire.”

As fire emanated from the other side of the bogie, panic-stricken fellow passengers had rushed to his side. “There was utter chaos and confusion. Without a second thought I pulled the chain first and then forced open the door. I woke up as many people as I could at that moment. As the train stopped, I pushed many people out,” recalled Mr Ram Sudhakar who lives at New Railway Colony in Visakhapatnam.

After the train came to a halt, Mr Ram Sudhakar entered the bogie and rescued an old couple who were travelling with their 18 year-old grand-daughter to Chennai for a medical admission. He said: “I could rescue the old couple but couldn’t save their grand-daughter. By the time I reached her berth, there was too much smoke to see anything.” Mr Ram Sudhakar said that within 20 minutes, the entire bogie caught fire as they helplessly watched. Within an hour, rescue teams and other railway staff members reached the spot. With the help of some media persons, Mr Ram Sudhakar who lost all his belongings, reached Nellore Railway Station and finally reached Chennai.

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