At least 50 people die after train runs over crowd in India

Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones. Pic @adarshdgp

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted soon after the accident that he was rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise the relief and rescue efforts and that the state government would give Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those killed. Although police personnel were deployed to avoid any untoward incident, they said to have failed to control the crowds who were gathered to see Rahana Dehan.

The toll is expected to rise over 100.

"Everyone was running helter-skelter and suddenly another train crashed into the crowds of people", he said. The train was en route to Amritsar from Jalandhar when the incident occurred in the evening at Joda Phatak. "The priority now is to take the injured to the hospital", Amritsar city police commissioner S. S. Srivastava told news agencies. He said district authorities have been mobilised on war footing.

According to initial reports, the unfortunate incident took place when people were observing the Ravana effigy burning near the track.

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

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has announced all possible assistance by the Centre to Punjab as a large number of Dussehra revellers standing across railway tracks were mowed down by a passing train near Amritsar. The moment the effigy of Ravan caught fire, crackers started flying around. That's when the train had hit them. The train was on full speed near the Choura Bazar area of Amritsar and ran over the people who were standing on the line. Since it was Dussehra, several people of all age groups were present to witness the burning of effigies of Ravana near the railway track when suddenly an EMU arrived on the track.

On the other hand, another eyewitness at the Amritsar accident site alleged that the event was organised by the Congress party without seeking due clearances.

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