Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Before Amritsar Tragedy, People Stood On Elevated Tracks For Better View

Indian relatives and revellers gather around the bodies of the victims of a train accident during the occasion of the Hindu festival of Dussehra in Amritsar Before Amritsar Tragedy, People Stood On Elevated Tracks For Better View
Melinda Barton | 21 October, 2018, 06:14

The victims were standing on the railway tracks watching celebrations for Dusshera, a Hindu festival marking the triumph of good over evil. In an apparent address to Congres leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at the Dussehra event, Madaan could be heard saying: "Madam look here!" The CM will visit Amritsar tomorrow to access the situation, an ANI report said.

The mishap took place near the Joda Phatak in Choura Bazar area of AMritsar where locals had gathered in numbers to attend the Dussehra celebrations on Friday.

The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was travelling at 55mph when it reached the scene of the tragedy in Amritsar. He said 18 trains were terminated before arriving at the destination.

"Fifty-nine people have been killed and 57 were injured in the incident".

India is home to hundreds of railway crossings that are unmanned and particularly accident prone, with motorists often ignoring oncoming train warnings. The final death toll was capped at 59.

Padam Singh Dhingra, a businessman, said the event was supposed to begin at 6:15 PM.

People gather at the site of an accident after a commuter train traveling at high speed ran through a crowd of people on the rail tracks on Friday, in Amritsar, India, October 20, 2018.

The notification is routine, and issued every year. Sinha said that the incident was being probed and that the tragedy was unfortunate.

Punjab's Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he was rushing to Amritsar to supervise relief and rescue operations.

Extending his sympathies to the families of the deceased, the Chief Minister has announced immediate ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, besides all possible support and help to them in their hour of grief.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the incident on Twitter. "There was no information and no permission sought from us", he said.

The official agreed that the gateman should have communicated to the nearest station about the assembly of a large crowd near the railway crossing that had spilled over onto the tracks. "I ask to convey my words of sympathy and support to families & friends of killed people & to wish soonest recovery to those injured", Putin said in a statement.

The Punjab minister said that his wife was attending to patients at the hospital when allegations were being levelled against her.

Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar said the line was clear but people moved on to the tracks when firecrackers burst once the effigy of Ravan was set on fire.

As the effigy was lit and the fireworks started at the religious function, a section of the crowd started retreating toward railroad tracks while watching the event.