West Bengal: Two killed in stampede at Santragachi station

Two people were killed and several others injured on Tuesday evening in a stampede on a foot overbridge at the Santragachi railway station in West Bengal.

According to the sources, the incident occurred around 6.30 pm between platform numbers two and three at Santragachi station after announcements were made about simultaneous arrival of trains on platforms connected by the overbridge. People rushed to board the trains and that created a stampede-like situation on the bridge.

“When Nagercoil-Shalimar Express and two EMU locals arrived at the station at the same time, while Shalimar-Vishakhapatnam Express and Santragachi-Chennai Express were also scheduled to arrive shortly, the passengers rushed to the platforms to board the trains,” South Eastern Railway spokesman said.

A large number of passengers either deboarded or were waiting to board trains at the same time, leading to a rush on the foot overbridge that connected the platforms.

All injured were taken to Howrah General Hospital for treatment.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached the spot to take stock of the situation and blamed negligence on part of Railways for the incident.

“They made an announcement about the arrival of three trains, two long distance and one local train at the same time. People rushed to catch the trains, leading to the stampede. Two people have died and several others are admitted to the hospital,” she said. 

She blamed the Railways for negligence and callousness over the stampede on a foot overbridge at Santragachi station. She further said that there is a gap in coordination and Railways should look into it, they should have given some time gap between the arrival of two trains when the passengers have to change platforms.

Mamata Banerjee announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of the dead and Rs. 1 lakh each to the injured from the state government. 

Mamata Banerjee took to her twitter account and expressed grief over the incident and said, “Another unfortunate incident on railways today. Sadly, too many such tragedies are happening like this even during festive season, including Amritsar. Railways are the lifeline of our nation. Safety of rail passengers must be taken care of at all times.”