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Amritsar: Many feared dead in train accident

20 October 2018
Amritsar: Many feared dead in train accident

A senior Punjab police official on condition of anonymity said, "More than 50 casualties have already been identified and right now we are busy evacuating injured to the hospitals".

A railway official said in New Delhi that the drop gates at the spot were down but people still massed on the tracks in violation of railway rules.

Following the tragedy, Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh took to twitter to state that he was rushing to the area to oversee the relief and rescue efforts. Reuters could not immediately confirm that death toll.

Last November, 13 coaches of an express train derailed in the north of the country, killing three people and leaving another nine with injuries.

According to reports, DMU train 74943, coming from Pathankot to Amritsar, ran over the people who were standing on tracks near the venue where locals were burning an effigy of Ravan as part of the Dussehra celebrations. The Punjab government also announced Rs 5 lakh relief to the deceased and will provide free treatment to all those who have been injured in this unfortunate incident.

Shatrughan Das, an injured 35-year-old factory worker, said he was sitting close to the railroad track watching the fireworks. Singh himself will visit Amritsar tomorrow to assess the situation. "Action will be taken against those found guilty, even if it is Navjot Kaur Sidhu", he was quoted as saying by ANI. Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal demanded an inquiry by a retired high court judge to fix responsibility and punish the guilty.

July 24, 2018 - Five passengers on board a crowded suburban train near Guindy were killed after hitting a hard surface near St. Thomas Mount station along the Chennai Beach-Chengalpattu section.

Seeking to shift the blame for the tragedy on the Amritsar administration, official sources said the local authorities were aware about the Dussehra programme and that it was attended a senior minister's wife.

"There was a lot of noise as firecrackers were being let off and it appears they (victims) were unable to hear the approaching train", a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The railways has issued helpline numbers in wake of the incident. "The incidental information is being collected".