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Amritsar mishap: Train driver explains why he kept driving despite knowing people were crushed

The Punjab and Railway Police had on Saturday detained the driver of the DMU (diesel multiple unit) at the Ludhiana railway station and questioned him regarding the mishap.

Amritsar mishap: Train driver explains why he kept driving despite knowing people were crushed

AMRITSAR: The driver of the train which crushed 59 people to death in Amritsar said that he knew that people were killed but had to keep driving for the safety of the passengers. In his statement, the driver said that he applied the emergency brakes while continuously blowing the horn yet some people came under the train. 

"I saw a crowd of people around the track. I immediately applied emergency brakes while continuously blowing the horn. Still some people came under it. The train was about to stop when people started pelting stones, so I started the train for the safety of the passengers," the train driver said.

The Punjab and Railway Police had on Saturday detained the driver of the DMU (diesel multiple unit) at the Ludhiana railway station and questioned him regarding the mishap. The driver in his statement also said that he was given a green signal after which he proceeded on the route.

Railways has already said that no action will be taken against the driver of the train saying that he had managed to slow down the train to around 68 kmph from the speed of 91kmph at which he was assigned to run. "The incident was not the Railways' fault. There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated," Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had said on Saturday.

"People should refrain from organising such events near the tracks in future. I think if precautions had been taken, the accident could have been averted," he had said.

Railway officials are also gathering information from the railway linemen posted along the tracks near the Jora Phatak area who failed to inform the DMU driver regarding the presence of over 700 people on the railway tracks who were watching the burning of the Ravan and other effigies during Dussehra celebrations. As the Ravan and other effigies went up in flames with the deafening noise of bursting fire crackers, witnessed on the tracks said that they did not realise that a speeding train was approaching.