Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Oct 20, 2018 02:18 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

We have seen something like this in movies... and in 1947: Witnesses, locals recall Amritsar train mishap

In light of the incident, Punjab has declared a state-wide mourning on October 20. All offices and educational institutions will remain closed.

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At least 50 people have been confirmed dead and more than 70 injured after a train mishap in Amritsar's Joda Phatak area on October 19.

The people were burning an effigy of Ravana at the location, as a part of the Dussehra celebrations.

Reports say that two trains were approaching towards the crowd from opposite directions. The crowd, in an attempt to escape from one train, ran towards the second train track, only to be crushed by the second.

Several of the victims were women and children.

"I have lost my minor child. I want him back," the mother of one of the victims said, according to PTI.

A local resident told the news agency that they have been requesting the authorities and their representatives at the legislature to make sure the trains are slowed near this section of the track during Dussehra.

"But no one has listened," he lamented.

Another witness said that he had,"Seen something like this in the movies... and back in 1947."

"But we never thought something like this would happen. We have been celebrating Dussehra in this area for the past several years... We have requested the administration to slow down in this area multiple times before," he told the media.

Another witness blamed the station master for the incident.

"The train did not slow down even when the motorman saw that Dussera celebrations taking place. We saw bodies of children and elders on tracks after it passed," a witness told media.

"I think people were unable to hear the sound of the train's horn due to the bursting of crackers," Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways said.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amrinder Singh announced that the government will bear the cost of the treatment of those injured. He also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

Capt. Singh also stated that he was not aware of the reasons why the effigy was built next to the railway station.

"The administration will have a look at it and we will check when I go there..." Singh said in a video uploaded on social media.

The Centre has also announced Rs 2 lakh for the family of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

In light of the incident, Punjab has declared a state-wide mourning on October 20. All offices and educational institutions will remain closed.
First Published on Oct 19, 2018 11:26 pm
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