Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Amritsar train accident: Over 50 people feared dead, rescue operations underway

People had gathered near the tracks to watch a burning effigy. Pic @SATINDER_13 Image People had gathered near the tracks to watch a burning effigy. Pic @SATINDER_13
Melinda Barton | 19 October, 2018, 18:59

At least 50 people are feared dead after being hit by a train in the city of Amritsar in northern India, according to reports. The train was on full speed near the Choura Bazar area of Amritsar and ran over the people who were standing on the line.

The accident took place at Joda Phatak in Amritsar.

Amritsar: In a horrific incident, around 50 people glued to watching a burning Ravan effigy while standing on railway tracks were crushed by a speeding train here in Punjab on Friday.

The train was travelling from Jalandhar when the accident happened, with TV channel Times Now reporting that those struck were unable to hear it approach due to the overbearing sound of firecrackers being let off.

"There are more than 50 casualties. We are evacuating people, injured taken to the hospital", a policeman was quoted as saying. According to eye-witnesses, people had gathered in large numbers to watch the burning of Ravana effigy.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked home secretary, health secretary and additional director general of police (law and order) to rush to Amritsar. There were around 500-700 people at the spot.

The chief minister also announced free treatment to all injured in the accident. "My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly". "District authorities have been mobilised on war footing".

"Centre is ready to provide all possible assistance to the state at this hour of grief", he said. On-lookers say the police personnel have neither warned the crowd not to stand on railway track nor they have informed the near-by railway crossing.