On 19th October, at 7 pm a train plowed into a crowd of Dussehra revelers in Amritsar. There were in all 500 people, who had spilled over to railway tracks on the outskirts. In this Amritsar train accident, about 60 people were killed and many injured. According to the latest update, 39 of 60 people killed in Amritsar train accident have been identified so far.
Eyewitnesses described the Amritsar train accident
According to the preliminary investigations, neither organizers nor police administration barricaded the tracks before the Dussehra celebrations being planned, to stop people from venturing onto them. According to the eyewitnesses’ crowd spilled onto the track after the Ravana set ablaze and crackers started exploding. The train was coming from Hoshiarpur to Amritsar. Owing to the fast speed, the bodies were cut into pieces on the track and spread in an area amid 100 meters to 150 meters. The video gone viral, made by several people who were filming the burning of Ravana effigy.
Clarification of railway authorities
On this tragic Amritsar train accident, railway authorities clarified that organizers of this event had not taken any kind of permission from them before organizing the event near the track. As per the sources, the eyewitnesses said that driver of the train not even once sounded a siren neither reduced the speed of the train. The speed of the train was approx 100 kmph. On this railway authorities said that they had no information regarding this organized event and driver had no time left to stop the train all of a sudden.
Ignorance by police officials
The exact number of police officials is not known yet. Those officials who are present at the time of Amritsar train accident yesterday were busy offering security to chief guest. The chief guest of this event was Navjot Kaur Sidhu. As per sources, the police officials ignored the security of the people. It was not the first time this event was organized as the effigy was being burnt at the same place before also. It is also the liability of the local superintendent of police who deployed police officials to escort VIPs.
It was also noted that there was no lightning around the tracks. CM Amarinder Sigh ordered a probe to fix the duty of police officers to maintain law and order. The time Ravana effigy lit and firework started, several people started retreating towards the track. At that time a large number of crowds standing was already there. When two trains arrived the opposite directions the people standing did not leave with any chance to escape. Numerous people mowed down on one the trains in Amritsar.
On this Amritsar train accident, Punjab minister and local MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu said that this was not done intentionally. However, there was great negligence and requested not to politicize it. He said that ‘it was an unfortunate incident. I talked to many people who clarified that some were standing on the track and some were sitting on a stone near the tracks.’
Today is a day of the mourning declared by Punjab government in the state? All educational institutions and offices will remain shut today. Ashwani Lohani, Railway Board chairman, rushed to Amritsar train accident spot. On another side, state government declared an ex-gratia payment of about 5 lakh as compensation to those who were killed. PM Narendra Modi also declared a 2 lakh compensation to families of dead and rupees 50,000 for the injured people.
Amritsar train accident on twitter
Extremely saddened by the train accident in Amritsar. The tragedy is heart-wrenching. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 19, 2018
Rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief & rescue in tragic rail accident on Dussehra in Amritsar. My govt will give Rs 5 lakh to kin of each deceased & free treatment to injured in govt & pvt hospitals. District authorities have been mobilised on war footing.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) October 19, 2018