Train Runs Into Crowd at Burning Ravana Effigy, More than 100 Dead

Cheryl Sanders
October 19, 2018

Many people are feared dead after a train ran into them in Amritsar on Friday evening, October 19. There were around 500-700 people at the spot.

Fifty bodies had already been found and at least 50 injured were admitted to a government-run hospital, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Rajesh Sharma, a magistrate, as saying. Preliminary report suggests that the incident took place following a stampede during the Dussehra celebration. The victims crowded the rail track on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state. That's when the train had hit them.

"We have taken people to hospital and we are evacuating others".

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi tweeted: "Extremely saddened by the train accident in Amritsar".

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed grief over the tragic train mishap in Punjab.

"Pained beyond words at the loss of precious lives due to a train tragedy during Dussehra festivities in Punjab". The toll is likely to rise, he said.

Some of the eyewitnesses said that the event was organised by the Congress party and was attended by Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur.

An eyewitness told a local TV channel there was "utter commotion" when the crowds noticed the train "coming very fast" towards them.

It was not clear why the train did not halt despite the presence of so many people on the tracks and why the railway crossing was left open for people to gather. The moment the effigy of Ravan caught fire, crackers started flying around.

"Out of nowhere came the train", said a man, sounding angry.

Image: Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones.

Other reports by iNewsToday