Amritsar Train Accident: Eyewitnesses Recount Horrific Details

Amritsar Train Accident: Eyewitnesses Recount Horrific Details

India

Over 60 people are feared dead in a major train accident that took place near Amritsar’s Jora Phatak on Friday, 19 October. DMU train number 74943 ran over a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy at around 7 pm.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased.

MoS Railways Manoj Sinha, meanwhile, said that no permission was sought for the effigy burning near the tracks, and added that he will reach the site around midnight.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses present at the scene of the accident recounted the horrific details of the tragedy.

A witness told a news channel that as the Ravana effigy went up in flames, people started running when they were crushed by the train, on its way to Amritsar from Pathankot, IANS reported.

Several people also reported that the dead included multiple children. According to eyewitness accounts, there were around 700 people at the accident spot.

Also Read : Over 60 Dead in Amritsar Train Accident, Punjab CM Orders Inquiry

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‘Driver Didn’t Sound the Horn’

An eyewitness present at the scene of the accident said that the people watching the burning Ravana effigy near the Jora Phatak feared that debris from the effigy might fall on them.

Fearing this, the people standing close to the effigy started to retreat towards the railway tracks behind them, he said.

“At this moment, a train ran over at least 100 people standing on the tracks. The driver of the train did not sound the horn before approaching the crossing, hence leading to the mishap”
An eyewitness at the scene said.

Another eyewitness said that the train was travelling at a fast speed and did not slow down at the crossing.

Also Read : Those Politicising Amritsar Mishap Should be Ashamed: Navjyot Kaur

‘Administration at Fault’

Speaking to ANI, a bystander present at the site laid the blame on the railway administration and the event organisers.

Railway administration at fault, an eyewitness to ANI.
Railway administration at fault, an eyewitness to ANI.
(Photo: ANI)
“The administration and the Dussehra committee are at fault, they should have raised an alarm when the train was approaching, they should have made sure that the train halts or slows down.”
An eyewitness told ANI

Also Read : Amarinder Singh leaves for Amritsar after tragedy

‘Navjot Singh Sidhu's Wife Was Chief Guest’

Another eyewitness at the site said that Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife was the chief guest of the event.

Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh announced a day of state mourning on Saturday.

“The state will remain in mourning tomorrow in view of the Amritsar train accident. All offices & educational institutions will remain closed,” CM Amarinder Singh announced.

He added that he had ordered an inquiry into the accident and set up crisis centers under the Punjab Health & Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra’s oversight.

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

Modi also approved Rs 2 lakh compensation for the family of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the accident.

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