Over 50 Dead as Dussehra Revellers Caught Between 2 Trains

Frederick Owens
October 19, 2018

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said relief and rescue operations were ongoing at the site on a "war footing". Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required.

At least 60 people were admitted to hospital with injuries, the police officer in the control room said, after what he called a "freak accident" given that people did not hear the train approaching amid the din of festivities and fireworks.

The toll is expected to rise over 100.

It was not clear why the train did not halt despite the presence of so many people on the tracks and why the railway crossing was left open for people to gather. Reportedly, the unfortunate incident took place when people were were standing on tracks to watch the burning of Ravan effigy on the occasion of the Dussehra.

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As per reports, over 500-600 people were present on the spot when the incident happened. "My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured", Mr. Singh tweeted soon after the incident. "The priority now is to take the injured to the hospital", Amritsar city police commissioner S. S. Srivastava told reporters.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed grief over the tragic train mishap in Punjab.

A huge effigy of Ravana had just been set off and loud bangs and cracks with fire and sparks flying into the air were going off as the train came speeding through the packed audience. The train was on full speed near the Choura Bazar area of Amritsar and ran over the people who were standing on the line. "They did not realise that a speeding train was coming and the train did not sound its hooter".

Witnesses said the dead included children. He will reach the site tomorrow, he said. Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the celebrations.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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