A family from Bhiwandi watched in horror as one of its members slipped through the platform-train gap and got crushed under the wheels of a local train at Vasai station on Tuesday. Victim Suman Pareek was five months pregnant.
Tragedy struck when 22-year-old Pareek was on her way to Borivli where she and three of her relatives were scheduled to board a long-distance train to their native place in Rajasthan at 3 pm.
The family had arrived at Vasai station by a shuttle around noon and decided to travel in the the luggage compartment of a suburban car from platform No.3.
The Government Railway Police said Pareek's relatives first entered the coach to load their belongings. However, when Pareek was trying to board the local, she lost her balance and fell through the gap between the platform and train.
Her relatives immediately got off the train, but before they could do pull the chain, the train had started moving. "She was crushed in front of our eyes. We took her to the hospital but she was declared brought dead," said a relative.
Pareek's brother-in-law Manoj Pareek, who too was present at the spot, said they were going to attend a family function and were to be joined by many other relatives in the outbound train. He said, "Just because the railways does not address this problem, we have lost a young family member."
Till the time of going to press, the family had not mustered the courage to inform Pareek's husband about the accident.
A Vasai GRP official said Pareek succumbed to her injuries moments after the accident. He said, "A post-mortem of the body was conducted at Navghar Primary Health center. We have registered a case of accidental death,"
Pareek is among scores of people who become victims of the killer gap – while some lose their lives, others are left crippled forever. Early this year, dna had carried a sustained campaign to highlight this issue. The Bombay High Court had also asked the railway authorities to spell out their plans to prevent mishaps due to the void.