In a dastardly tragic incident at least 75 people feared dead and scores badly wounded while watching Dusherra festival in Amritsar. The incident happened near Joda Phatak railway crossing in Amritsar where the ritual of burning the effigy of Ravana was being held.
As soon the effigy of Ravana caught fire and the fire crackers started bursting, people at site started retreating towards railway track where many were already stationed. The bursting sound of crackers and commotion at the scene prevented the onlookers from either seeing or hearing the advancing Jallandar Express on track. The train in full speed mowed down scores of onlookers leading to mayhem all around.
An eyewitness said no alarm was raised when the train was approaching and blamed the administration. “The administration and the Dussehra committee are at fault… they should have made sure that the train halts or slows down,” the eyewitness told ANI.
Raiilways in the meanwhile has expressed grief at the incident and started the relief and rescue operations at war footing. The Railways has issued helpline numbers: 0183-2223171, 0183-2564485.
“My government will give Rs. 5 lakh to kin of each deceased and free treatment to injured in government and private hospitals. District authorities have been mobilized on war footing,” was tweeted by the Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.
More details awaited from ground.