52 dead after train runs over people watching Ravana burning near Amritsar

Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones. Pic @adarshdgp

Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones. Pic @adarshdgp

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a probe to fix the responsibility of the officers who were supposed to maintain law and order besides security.

Navjot Kaur Siddhu, a local Congress party politician who was the chief guest at the religious function, said the celebrations took place in the area every year, and railroad authorities were alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

"I am at the moment not aware of the reasons for this Ravana effigy being built next to a railway station".

A Reuters witness at the scene saw bodies of victims strewn around rail tracks, friends and relatives stood around in shock, many were sobbing and appeared distraught.

Police said it was a "freak accident" as people did not hear the train approaching amid the din of festivities and fireworks. The tragedy is heart-wrenching.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed shock over the train mishap in Amritsar during the Dussehra celebrations + while railway minister Piyush Goyal cancelled all his engagements in the United States and chose to return immediately.

"My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly". "Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required", Modi said on Twitter. "Understand Indian Railways and local authorities are taking steps to help affected people", President Ram Nath Kovind said.

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Punjab's Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he was rushing to Amritsar to supervise relief and rescue operations.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced all possible assistance by the Centre to Punjab as a large number of Dussehra revellers standing across railway tracks were mowed down by a passing train near Amritsar.

Railway authorities said they had no information about the event and the driver had no time to stop the train as people suddenly entered the tracks.

It was an EMU train, running between Jalandhar and Amritsar.

"Pained beyond words at the loss of precious lives due to a train tragedy during Dussehra in Punjab".

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who is now in the US, said he will be immediately returning. "My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured". Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Amritsar I, Rajesh Sharma, said 50 bodies had been found and at least 50 injured had been admitted to a government hospital.

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