Over 50 dead as train mows down crowd in Amritsar

Over 50 dead as train mows down crowd in Amritsar

- A commuter train traveling at high speed ran through a crowd on the tracks in northern India on Friday, killing at least 59 people, state officials said, making it India's worst rail disaster this year.

The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar.

The incident took place near Amritsar, Punjab on October 19.

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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered an inquiry into the latest disaster.

The train was going from Jallandhar to Amritsar when the incident occurred at Joda Phatak where at least 300 people were watching "Ravana dahan" at a ground adjacent to the tracks.

They reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers. He was scheduled to leave for Israel on Friday evening, but postponed his trip and will fly to Amritsar in the morning to assess the damage and meet families of the victims. "We are still evacuating the injured from the train track", he said.

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Suddenly the train crashed through the crowd with screams of disbelief as it failed to stop for the spectators. Most of the victims died instantly, while limbs lay scattered around the site. Relief and rescue operation is on. "Exact figure is not known but it is definitely more than 50-60", Amritsar Police Commissioner SS Srivastava told ANI.

This comes as a huge administration fault on the part of not only the Dasara Celebrations Committee but also the Railways for not taking proper precautionary messages that would have saved lives of almost 50 people who died in a mishap when a train rammed into people who were watching Dasara celebrations, i.e., burning Ravan's effigy. So there are many casualties. A train at full speed tore through revellers who had been pushed back about 100 feet from the periphery of a burning effigy of Ravan. He said, "The administration and the Dussehra committee are at fault, they should have raised an alarm when the train was approaching".

CM Amarinder Singh has asked all government and private hospitals to stay open in order to provide treatment to the injured. He also offered Rs 5 lakh to the kin of deceased. "District authorities have been mobilised on war footing". "The tragedy is heart-wrenching", Mr. Modi tweeted. I pray for the injured to recover quickly.

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