Amritsar train accident: Over 50 people feared dead

Amritsar Train Accident Live Updates

A thorough investigation will be conducted into the train accident that claimed more than 50 lives in Amritsar, and the probe will include how and why a Ravan effigy was allowed to be burnt by the railway tracks as part of Dussehra celebrations, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Friday.

Amritsar: The site of a railway accident near the venue of Dussehra festivities, at Joda Phatak in Amritsar. He added that the district authorities had been directed to take up relief and rescue operations on a war footing.

According to a Northern Railway spokesperson, the incident occurred at gate number 27 between Amritsar and Manawala, when a DMU (train number 74943) was crossing through the closed gate. As the effigy was lit and the fireworks went off, a section of the crowd started retreating towards the tracks where a large number of people were already standing to watch the event, officials said.

Officials said, the train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar. An eyewitness reported that people did not hear the honk of the train due to firecrackers that were busting at that time.

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Shatrughan Das, an injured 35-year-old factory worker, said he was sitting close to the tracks watching the fireworks.

"Everyone was running helter-skelter and suddenly the train crashed into the crowds of people", he said.

In Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been tweeting photos of the joyful celebration, which is also known as Vijayadashami.

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"The tragedy is heart-wrenching", he tweeted. That would amount to $6,805.50 per family.

A Reuters witness at the scene saw bodies of victims strewn around rail tracks, friends and relatives stood around in shock, many were sobbing and appeared distraught. "Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required". My deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

Police and volunteers carry a victim from the site of a train accident in Amritsar, Friday, Oct 19, 2018. In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off railroad tracks in eastern India. Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria was deputed to reach Amritsar to oversee rescue operations.

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