58 killed as train runs over people celebrating Dussehra in Punjab

Geraldine Edwards
October 20, 2018

At least 50 people were killed Friday after a train plowed into revellers celebrating a Hindu festival in northern India, police said, the latest major accident on the country's crumbling rail network.

"I spoke to home secretary of Punjab and DGP of the state regarding the train accident in Amritsar", Singh said on Twitter.

A large number of people were watching a huge Ravan effigy in flames while standing on the tracks at a railway crossing at Jora Phatak when the train on way from Pathankot to Amritsar mowed them down, triggering anger and outrage. "They did not realise that a speeding train was coming and the train did not sound its hooter". Preliminary report suggests that the incident took place following a stampede during the Dussehra celebration.

"However, railways' entire machinery is at the spot and we are cooperating with local administration is rescue and relief operations", the official added.

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Sub Divisional Magistrate Amritsar I Rajesh Sharma said 50 bodies have been found and at least 50 injured have been admitted to a government hospital.

An angry crowd shouts slogans at the site of a train accident in Amritsar, India, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

The injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals for further treatment.

October 10, 2018 - The New Farakka Express on its way to New Delhi derailed near Rae Bareli, killing seven people and injuring several others.

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"District authorities have been mobilised on war footing", he tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Kovind, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and Congress President Rahul Gandhi offered their condolences.

Modi said he has asked officials to provide immediate assistance. "The tragedy is heart-wrenching", he tweeted.

Shocked to hear of tragic rail accident in Amritsar.

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Last year, Indian officials reportedly tallied almost 600 rail accidents in the preceding five years, around half of which were due to derailments.

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