Amritsar: According to HindusthanTimes at least 58 people were killed and 72 injured on Friday evening when a train ran into a crowd watching Dussehra celebrations in Punjab’s Amritsar, police said.
The incident took place around 6.45 pm at Dhobi Ghat near Jaura Phatak railway crossing. A crowd of around 300 people was watching Ravan effigies being burnt when the passenger train hit the people standing on the track, about 200 feet away, said senior police officer Lakhbir Singh.
The DMU no. 74943 sped past as the area resonated with the sound of crackers placed inside the effigies, running over people standing on the tracks, with many of them shooting videos of the mishap. The train was coming from Hoshiarpur to Amritsar via Jalandhar as scheduled around 7pm.
Sub Divisional Magistrate Amritsar (I) Rajesh Sharma said 58 people have died and at least 72 injured have been admitted to Amritsar hospital.
ANI quoted Northern Railway CPRO as saying that due to some incident, people started running towards gate no. 27 between Amritsar and Manawala. Eyewitnesses said there were no barricading near the railway tracks. They said the approaching train was inaudible as the sound of firecrackers was too loud.
News agency PTI said according to officials, two trains arrived from opposite direction at the same time giving little opportunity to people to escape. However, Northern Railways told ANI there only one train passing through the area.