In a shocking and terrible disaster, at least 61 people were crushed by a train at Amritsar in Punjab on Friday while they were watching the burning of Ravan effigy on the occasion of Dussehra. The Amritsar train accident took place near Joda Phatak area of Choura Bazar. The train was en route from Jalandhar to Amritsar.
The incident took place when a large number of people were watching the Ravan effigy going up in flames while standing along the railway tracks. As the fireworks went off, some people, in order to avoid high flames, started retreating towards the tracks where a huge crowd was already standing to watch the event. However, two trains arrived from the opposite direction at the same time, giving little chance to people to escape.
A preliminary report suggested that people could not hear the hooting of the train because of the exploding crackers. Several people were mowed down by one of the trains, the officials said.
Commenting on the incident, area legislator and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Sidhu told a news channel from Bengaluru that the death toll was disturbingly high. His wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the Chief Guest at the Dussehra event where the incident took place at around 7 pm.
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said that At least 61 people were killed and 72 injured Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by a train near here, officials said.
The train was coming from Jalandhar when the accident occurred at Joda Phatak near Amritsar, where at least 300 people were watching ”Ravana dahan” at a ground adjacent to the tracks