The Aftermath of the Deadly Amritsar Train Accident

Fifty bodies have been found so far| PTI

Police say the noise of the firecrackers and the crowd may have stopped victims from hearing the train. The railway crossing gates were closed and the crossing was manned.

According to media reports, the driver told police he did not see the revellers until the last second because he had come around a bend in the dark into the firework smoke. As many as 61 people were killed on the spot and over 100 were left injured.

The driver, Arvind Kumar, in a statement to the Railways administration said he had applied the emergency breaks, but since a large group of people started pelting stones on the train, he chose to proceed, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.

As it was lit and fireworks went off, a section of the crowd retreated towards the tracks, where a large number of people were already standing to watch the celebrations.

"People were trespassing the railway lines when the incident took place".

Poonam, another eyewitness, also said, "We have attended this mela earlier also and trains always used to come at a slow pace". "An FIR is [registered] against unidentified people, even though the organiser is identified as Saurav Madaan", he said. He said the railways was not at fault. "The toll can rise", State Police Chief Suresh Arora told Reuters, adding that emergency officials were trying to determine the extent of the disaster on the outskirts of the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab.

The Indian Railways has said it was not informed by the organisers or the local administration that a Dussehra event was being organised close to railway tracks.

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Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh expressed shock at the incident and directed district authorities have been directed to take up relief and rescue operations on a war footing, ANI tweeted.

Singh also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of all the victims as well as declared that the Punjab government will bear all the medical costs.

Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said in a statement that the event was organised in an area which does not belong to the railways.

In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off railroad tracks in eastern India.

Mr Mithu and his mother, a Congress Councillor, remain missing over 48 hours after the incident occurred, and protesters have hit the warpath with their demands for the arrest of those responsible. In November 2016, the Patna-Indore express derailed in Uttar Pradesh state in the middle of the night, killing 139 people.

Neither the organisers nor the police administration had barricaded the tracks to stop people from venturing onto them, preliminary investigations have revealed.

"From a distance of 300 metres, he can see LED lights installed at the event and people were making videos of the event with their mobile phones", he said.

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