AMRITSAR: It all happened in a flash. Meena Devi, 55, was one of the hundreds of revellers engrossed in Dussehra celebrations on the edge of a field by the railways tracks here on Friday when she spotted the angry glow of the headlight of a train hurtling down the tracks.

The next moment, a man standing in front of her, bang on the middle of the tracks, flung a baby — presumably his — into the air, a split second before the train mowed him down, one of the 59 to have died in the horrific tragedy. As if on cue, Meena Devi, who herself avoided being hit by the train by a whisker, dived and caught the toddler just as he was hitting the ground. But his parents remained untraced, despite the best of her efforts.

Forty eight hours after the traumatic accident, Meena Devi told TOI how she carried the baby (in picture) home, nursed and fed him before taking him to hospital. “I will be happy to raise him if its parents are not found,” the brave grandmother even said.

However, hours later, the administration managed to trace the family of the 10-month-old boy, who was being treated at the Civil Hospital and underwent a CT scan to ascertain the nature of an injury sustained on his head.

The baby was identified as Vishal after his mother Radhika, severely injured in the accident, was traced to a private hospital in Amritsar. His father Buddhi Ram — the man who had flung Vishal in the air to save him — died, according to sources.

The baby’s aunt lost her husband and son in the tragedy. Meena Devi, who hails from Nepal and works as a cook in functions, was praised by her neighbours for the selfless act. “We are proud of her as she not only saved the baby but also ensured that he got the best possible care,” her neighbour Aarti Kapoor said.