In a tragic accident, a train ran over scores of people who had gathered to watch Ravana dahan in Punjab’s Amritsar, killing at least 40 people and injuring several others. Authorities swung into action soon after the incident, however, it was too late as many lost their lives due inadequate steps taken by the administration.
A purported video of the incident has gone viral on social media. However, Zee News could not verify the authenticity of the video.
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
The video, shared by many on social media platforms like Twitter, shows people watching and filming as the effigy of Ravana goes up in flames. Before anyone could realise, a speeding train appears and runs over people standing on the track.
Eyewitnesses lashed out at the authorities for not taking any measure to avoid such incident. Some eyewitnesses said that they had earlier requested district and railway authorities to stop train movement in the Dhobi Ghat area during the Ravana Dahan event.
"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," some eyewitnesses told news agency ANI.
Reacting to the incident, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that he had been making attempts to gather all information about the incident, assuring that he would take all necessary action.
"As Dussehra celebration was taking place some incident had occurred and people started rushing towards closed gate number 27 while a DMU train number 74943 was passing the closed gate," said CPRO, Northern Railway, in a statement.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur was reportedly at the site of the incident.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reacted to the incident, assuring all help to the Punjab government in the rescue and relief operations.