Witnesses described seeing several dozens of people being trampled under a panicked crowd on a pedestrian bridge in the train station, as lost shoes and handbags laid strewn around. According to Chennai-based daily-The Hindu, in a video surfaced after the incident, a woman victim of the stampede, seconds from breathing her last, was molested by a bystander as she lay atop a pile of victims on the foot overbridge (FOB).
"A new 12-metres long foot overbridge at the north-end parallel to this bridge has already been sanctioned connecting Western Railway and Central Railway along with East-West connectivity".
Railways spokesman Ravinder Bhakar said a number of people had taken shelter near the train station to escape the heavy rain. "Instead of fancy bullet trains, they should first ensure railway commuters don't die horrid deaths like this due to their negligence".
Akash Kotecha, a lawyer who was lucky to survive the stampede after someone broke the bars of the stairs and pulled him out said that rumour mongering led to the tragedy.
"Had Prime Minister Modi-led government taken the Railway maintenance seriously, then the stampede at the Elphinstone railway station would have never occurred".
Another eyewitness, Sambhajit Verma, who was stuck in the middle of the FOB at Elphinstone said, "I was being squeezed by the crowd from both sides".
"The bridge has not collapsed", said additional division fire officer S Rane said.
"Not an excuse but problems in Indian Rail aren't 1-2 years old, they accumulated over years and were given to us in '14 as inheritance", said Piyush Goyal. "There was nobody helping, it was very suffocating, and we just wanted to get out of there - and fell on each other".
The FOB is crowded in the morning and evening peak hours.
"During the meeting, it was also proposed that the railway platforms at Elphinstone Road station would be extended". People were going from one end to the other.
"Many people cribbed about how India can make do with a cheaper bullet train".
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