Punjab: Several feared dead as train runs over people during Dussehra celebrations

In an tragic incident in Punjab at least 60 people are feared dead, when two trains ran into the people watching ‘Ravan Dahan’ near the railway tracks at Joda Phatak in Choura Bazar in Amritsar on Friday.

As per initial reports, people watching burning effigy of Ravana on the occasion of the Dussehra were standing on the railway tracks at Choura Bazar area and could not hear the sound of the train approaching due to the crackers’ noise.

Most of the deceased are said to be children and youth. According to eye witness the death toll may rise to 100. Eye witness said that the mutilated dead bodies are lying scattered in and around the tracks.

Local administration and fire brigade have rushed to the spot and a rescue operation is underway.

All injured are being rushed to a nearby hospital.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh took to twitter and expressed grief over the incident, “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.”

Rajnath further said, “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.”

Meanwhile Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, “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.”

“We will do everything possible to assist the injured. Have directed the district administration to leave no stone unturned to ensure the best possible treatment for them,” Amarinder further added.

Railway has issued helpline Numbers and they are – 0183-2223173 and 0183-2564485.