#AmritsarTrainTragedy: Updates

Amritsar: The site where at least 50 people glued to watching a burning Ravan effigy while standing on railway tracks were mowed down by a speeding train in Amritsar on Oct 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Several people dead in Amritsar in north India as a train mows down a large crowd gathered near the tracks for Dussehra festival celebrations. Very sad visuals and news comes from Amritsar, punjab where, over 50+ people are feared dead after a major train accident took place in the state. The accident took place near Amritsar’s Joda Phatak when effigies of Ravana were being burnt on the railway tracks. Injured people are being shifted to a nearby hospital meanwhile all the concerned authorities are monitoring the situation..

Read Also, Amritsar train tragedy: Punjab Governor, Sidhu visit injured in hospital

These numbers can be used reach for information on the incident, 01832223171 and 01832564485.. Telephone numbers at Manawala station are 0183-2440024, 0183-2402927 and Ferozpur’s helpline number is 01632-1072.. In the aftermath of a terrible accident in Amritsar, Punjab, which has seen more than 60 people die till now during the Dussehra celebration after a train ran over them, former CM of the state, Parkash Singh Badal has pinned the blame on the organizers and chief guest of the event.

Read Also, #AmritsarTrainTragedy: Train driver detained, questioned

Area legislator and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the Chief Guest at the Dussehra event where the accident occurred.. The chief guest of this event was Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. Eyewitness on the location accused her of reaching for the event late, and leaving the location as soon as the mishap took place.

The Eyewitness said that, “The administration & 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.” The CM has rushed to Amritsar to personally supervise relief and rescue operations. The government has announced to give Rs 5 lakh to kin of each deceased and free treatment to the injured in government and private hospitals. The Prime Minister also announced Rs 2 lakh compensation each to the families of the dead and Rs 50,000 each to the injured.

Read Also, #AmritsarTrainTragedy: Railways deny ‘responsibility’

Moreover, At gate no. 27 b/w Amritsar & Manawala. As Dussehra celebration was taking place some incident had occurred& people started rushing towards closed gate number 27 while a DMU train number 74943 was passing the closed gate: CPRO Northern Railway; Visuals from accident site.

Shocked to hear of tragic rail accident in Amritsar. Have asked all govt & pvt hospitals to stay open to help in this hour of grief. District authorities have been directed to take up relief and rescue operations on a war footing, tweets Punjab CM.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, “Pained beyond words at the loss of precious lives due to a train tragedy during Dussehra festivities in Punjab. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured”. “I spoke to Home Secretary of Punjab and DGP of the state regarding the train accident in Amritsar. They are rushing to the spot. Centre is ready to provide all possible assistance to the state at this hour of grief”.

Read Also, Punjab Chief Minister arrives in Amritsar over train tragedy

Capt. Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, Rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief & rescue in tragic rail accident on Dussehra in Amritsar. My govt will give Rs 5 lakh to kin of each deceased & free treatment to injured in govt & pvt hospitals. District authorities have been mobilised on war footing.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Extremely saddened by the train accident in Amritsar. The tragedy is heart-wrenching. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones&I pray that the injured recover quickly. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required. Leader of opposition in Punjab Harpal Singh Cheema also tweeted, “My heart goes out to the bereaved family members who lost their loved once in Amritsar train accident. At this unfortunate event we stand with the family and pray for the departed soul.”

VERY SAD TO SAY THIS, HOPE FOR MINIMAL INJURY/DEATHS. #Artificial#MissManagement during the ‘Ravan Dahan’. TRILOK SINGH#YD

Following the initial reports, revellers at Dussehra celebrations were standing close to railway tracks to watch a Ravan effigy burn and could not hear the oncoming train over the noise of firecrackers. Notably, There were around 500-700 people at the spot. The moment the effigy of Ravana caught fire, crackers started flying around. A police official said that, “There are more than 50 casualties. We are evacuating people and the injured are being taken to the hospital.”

Following the recent report, The bodies of 39 people were identified on Saturday, a day after 59 people were killed and several others injured when two trains speeding in opposite directions mowed down people standing on the tracks near a railway crossing near Amritsar.

LIVE UPDATES: October 20, 2018

Update at 21:20PM: Indian Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has said that, he has cancelled all engagement in United State and is returning to India.

Update at 19:35PM: Meanwhile, Sidhu told CNN-News 18: “You will soon get all videos. I have records of all announcements. You’ll very soon get the video [footage that shows] that there was an announcement from the stage not to go there. The investigation has to be logical, ethical and fair”

Update at 19:30PM: Shiromani Akali Dal President, Sukhbir Singh Badal told CNN-News 18: “The present government is calling it a natural disaster instead of setting an example. This is not a natural disaster; this is massacre. No FIR is being registered on victims’ statement. An inquiry should happen out of Punjab under a high court.”

“This is a clear-cut cover-up operation. Mrs. Sidhu and Sidhu sahab should be part of the FIR. Fresh FIR should be registered on the statement of victims. Statement of victims not being taken but statement of police is being taken so that it can be managed. There should be no politics… Guilty should not be spared,” he added.

Update at 18:00PM: “The incident is tragic. We have learnt that some of the deceased belong to Bihar. Our condolences to all those who have lost their lives,” Kumar, who had served as railway minister under PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, told media reporters today. A high level of alertness is required while holding any public function in the vicinity of a railway line, the chief minister said. “We do not know whether the Railways were informed in advance about the Dussehra programme. Whoever organizes events near tracks need to exercise great caution. The authorities, too, should take safety aspects into consideration before granting permission,” he said to Media.

Update at 17:55PM: Significantly, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked the home secretary to issue an immediate advisory for sale and storage of crackers during Diwali to ensure strict adherence to the safety rules and guidelines for the same. Taking serious note of the Amritsar train tragedy, the CM made it clear that no laxity would be tolerated in these matters. While the culpability in Friday’s tragic incident would be fixed, it was imperative to ensure that such an incident was not repeated.

Update at 16:35PM:

Update at 16:32PM: Shivala Railway Crossing was vandalised by unidentified persons last night after the Amritsar train accident, reports ANI. Jaspal Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Government Railway Police, says, “Window panes were vandalised last night. We found it today. Cabin man was also thrashed.”

Update at 15:08PM: There were vacant seats at Dhobi Ghat ground. Ravan was tied securely & there were no chances of it falling down & creating chaos. There was no stampede. Announcements were made 4-5 times asking people to come inside Dhobi Ghat ground: Navjot Kaur Sidhu on #AmritsarTrainTragedy

Update at 14:18PM: 

Update at 14:15 PM: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was accompanied by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Education Minister O P Soni, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, among others.

Update at 14:00 PM: During his address to the media persons, the Chief Minister has said a compensation of Rs five lakh each for the families of the deceased had already been announced by the state government. Besides, the government would bear the cost of medical treatments of the injured admitted to different hospitals.

Update at 13:47 PM: As many as 37 trains were cancelled and 16 diverted today. Providing details to media, the Indian Railways said 10 mail/express trains and 27 passenger trains were cancelled. While 16 trains were diverted and reached their destination through a different route, 18 trains were short terminated, Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said. The route between Jalandhar and Amritsar was suspended, he said. The railways maintained that it had no information about the Dussehra function held near the tracks. 

Update at 13:20 PM: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh visits Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.

Update at 13:20 PM: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condoled the accident. “My thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one in the tragic train crash in Amritsar, India. Canadians are keeping you in our hearts tonight & wishing all those injured a full recovery,” Trudeau said in a tweet. In short, United Nation chief Guterres, Canadian PM Trudeau condole Amritsar train accident.

Update at 12:45 PM: While addressing the media, CM Singh said, “It is necessary for us to hold an enquiry into the incident. We have ordered a magisterial enquiry and have sought a report within four weeks. Let the railways continue with their probe, we shall conduct one of our own.”

Update at 12:32PM: Punjab Chief Minister orders immediate release of Rs 3 crore, After meeting the families of the victims, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh ordered an immediate release of Rs three crore to the Amritsar district collectorate for payment of compensation to the family of the deceased. Complying with the directions, the Chief Minister’s Office has issued RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) instructions to the bank concerned.

Update at 11:39 am: Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered his condolences to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Amritsar train accident. “I offer my deepest sympathies over the tragic consequences of an accident on railways in Punjab. I ask to convey my words of sympathy and support to families and friends of killed people and to wish soonest recovery to those injured,” he said.

Update at 11:22 am: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has arrived in Amritsar to take stock of the situation. “Was briefed by the district officials and the crises management team about the #AmritsarTrainAccident and the relief operations on arrival at Amritsar airport. Going on to visit the injured in various hospital,” he tweeted.

Update at 11:16 am: Expressing “deep shock and grief” over the train accident, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a statement on Friday conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families. “I am shocked to hear about the tragic rail accident in Amritsar which claimed, according to reports received, several lives. My heart goes out to the bereaved families. I express my condolences to the families who lost their near and dear ones and wish the injured speedy recovery,” the statement read.

Update at 10:12 am: The railways was not intimated about a Dussehra event along the tracks that led to the deaths of at least 61 people in Amritsar, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a statement.

Update at 09:55 am: Railways was not intimated about Dussehra event near tracks, says Lohani. The railways was not intimated about a Dussehra event along the tracks that led to the deaths of at least 61 people in Amritsar, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a statement. He said that the accident occurred at a stretch between two stations — Amritsar and Manawala, and not at a level crossing. “At midsections, trains run at their assigned speed and people are not expected to be on the tracks. At midsections, there is no railway staff posted. We have staff at level crossings whose job is to regulate traffic,” he said, explaining why the railways was not alerted about the congregation by its staff. (PTI).

Update at 7:30 am, October 20, 2018: Its a criminal intimidation. High level judicial enquiry should be done. The should provide maximum monetary help. The state govt has a double face. They don’t have money for every good thing. But for buying vehicles and wasting money in lavish things, they have all the money in the world: Daljeet Cheema (SAD).

Update at 9:53 am: Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has accepted there was ‘negligence’, though, denied any intentional role behind the tragic train accident.

Update at 9:41 am: GRP registers FIR in the rail accident case. Case registered under section 304 A, 304, 337, 338 of the IPC. Case registered against unknown  persons.

Update at 9:03 am: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh leaves from Delhi for Amritsar.

Update at 8:53 am: 8 trains have been canceled, 5 trains diverted, 10 trains short-terminated and 5 trains short-originated on Saturday following the train accident between Amritsar & Manawala on Friday.

Update at 8:39 am: This is not a time to point fingers on anyone, not a point to play politics. People raised questions on my wife but I would like to say we can’t stop people to raise questions but I am urging don’t politicise it. That incident was not motivated, there was a negligence: Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Update at 8:37 am: These are my people. I am with them. I accept that there was negligence, but that was not motivated: Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Update at 8:35 am: We have to believe that was an accident. This is a negligence but nobody did this intentionally. Nobody should do politics on this right now: Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Update at 8:32 am: It was a tragic incident. I am upset with this incident. I had a word with victim family. We are with the family: Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Very much Horrible visuals, they apparently couldn’t hear the train coming due to the noise of the crackers. We Can’t believe the above Train accident today. How can a train run over so many people? How can Indian railways be so careless!!!


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