New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Oct 20: This can be called one of the worst train disaters as 58 people, all in a celebrative mood, watching the burning of a Ravan effigy from a railway track were crushed to death by a speeding train here in Punjab on Friday. This has resulted in big anger in the area and nationwide outrage. More than 72 others were injured, many of them seriously. And the counting is still on.Chief minister Capt Amarinider Singh is yet to visit the site and the sources say that he will be visiting anytime in the morning.
The state government has declared Saturday a day of mourning in the state. All offices and educational institutions will remain shut. CM Amarinder Singh, who was scheduled to visit Israel, will fly to Amritsar on Saturday morning.A large number of some 700 people were watching the huge Ravan effigy in flames amid exploding crackers while on the tracks at Joda Phatak near Dhobi Ghat within the city when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU passenger train coming to Amritsar from Hoshiarpur came hurtling down around 7 p.m.It took just about 10-15 seconds for the train to pass -- and leave behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.Amritsar Police Commissioner S.S. Srivastava told reporters that 58 people have died and 72 have been rushed to hospitals in the city. The toll could go up, Srivastava said.The state government has declared state mourning on Saturday and all offices and educational institutions will remain closed in view of the tragedy, an official spokesperson said, adding a probe has also been ordered.Video clips posted on the social media showed some people who had apparently seen the approaching train trying to run away from the site. A few of them were also mowed down.Wails and cries filled the air as people frantically looked for their near and dear ones. Severed bodies, including those of children, were lying at the accident site hours after the incident with angry people not allowing authorities to remove them.