It was Saturday night when journalist Santosh Upadhyay was reportedly approached by a woman on the Indore-Patna train, asking if he would exchange seats with her. She had a seat in coach S5, but wanted to move to S2 to sit with her friend. Upadhyay agreed, and moved his belongings to the other coach.
Hours later, the train derailed, badly damaging four of the 14 coaches of the express train. Among the worst hit were S1 and S2, which PTI reported had telescoped into each other, causing maximum fatalities in these. At least 120 people have been killed in the accident that took place early Sunday morning. Around 200 others have been injured.
Upadhyay, who escaped relatively unhurt after escaping from an emergency window of the train, reportedly saw corpses hanging from the mangled remains of the coaches, one of which he was supposed to be travelling in, if he had not exchanged his seat.
"It could have been me," he told The Times of India. Upadhyay is back in his hometown of Allahbad now. The status of the woman he exchanges seats with, and her companion, is unknown.