Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Over 50 feared dead as train runs them over during Dussehra celebrations

Over 50 feared dead as train runs them over during Dussehra celebrations

Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria deputed to immediately reach Amritsar to oversee rescue operations. Although police personnel were deployed to avoid any untoward incident, they said to have failed to control the crowds who were gathered to see Rahana Dehan.

There are fears that the death toll will rise further. It was an EMU train, running between Jalandhar and Amritsar. The priority now is to take the injured to the hospital'.

The incident bears a striking similarity to a 2012 train accident in Kerala where the Trivandrum-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express struck down people who were standing on the tracks to watch fireworks, killing three and injuring one person. There were around 500-700 people at the spot. "District authorities have been mobilised on war footing", CM Singh tweeted.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced all possible assistance by the Centre to Punjab as a large number of Dussehra revellers standing across railway tracks were mowed down by a passing train.

Another five were killed in December when they were hit by a train in the same state, with 60 thought to having died on the tracks in the whole of 2017 - and 110 the year before that. "Before anyone could realise what was happening, it ran over scores of people". As the effigy of Ravana was set on fire, panic gripped. "They did not realise that a speeding train was coming and the train did not sound its hooter".

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An eyewitness said the train didn't even whistle as it sped past the site.

Witnesses said the dead included children.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also said he was asking the state government and the party workers to provide immediate relief at the accident site.

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu reacted to reports that his wife was the chief guest at the event.

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