At Least 50 Dead After Train Runs Over People Celebrating Dussehra

The body of a victim lies covered in cloth on a railway track in Amritsar India after a train struck a crowd of people on Oct. 19 2018

Over 60 people are feared dead in a major train accident that took place near Amritsar's Jora Phatak on Friday, 19 October.

An eyewitness told ANI that a train travelling at a fast speed ran over several people during Dussehra celebrations.

According to reports, DMU train 74943, coming from Pathankot to Amritsar, ran over the people who were standing on tracks near the venue where locals were burning an effigy of Ravan as part of the Dussehra celebrations.

Image: People had gathered near the tracks to watch a burning effigy. There were around 500-700 people at the spot. Witnesses said that as fire was set to the Ravan effigy amid exploding crackers, numerous around 700 people gathered at the event moved back from the flames only to end up standing on the tracks.

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Eyewitnesses said there were no barricading near the railway tracks and the people were forced to see the Dusshehra ceremony by standing on tracks.

When the effigy of Ravana burnt, the whole area resonated with the sound of the crackers.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the event which was organised near the railway track. Local authorities are evacuating the injured people from the accident site and are being shifted to a nearby hospital.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked home secretary, health secretary and additional director general of police (law and order) to rush to Amritsar. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required. He tweeted, "My government will give Rs. 5 lakh to kin of each deceased and free treatment to injured in government and private hospitals".

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