Railway Board Chairman Visits Site of Accident
Chairman of the Railway Board Ashwani Lohani visited the site of the accident on Saturday.
Earlier, Lohani had said that it would be wrong to hold the Railways responsible for the accident.
“It would be wrong to say that Railways is responsible for this accident. There are two manned level-crossings on that track, both were closed. It is the main line. There is no speed restriction there. The Railway administration was not informed about the Dussehra celebrations near the mainline. People were watching Dussehra celebrations from railway tracks,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
“People need to be more alert; they must not trespass on railway tracks,” he further added.
Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar, where the injured have been admitted after the accident.
Two Trains Mowed Down People: Report
According to an Indian Express report, two trains crossed the area within a few seconds of each other, killing the people who were standing on the tracks. Quoting a senior railway official, the report states that the first train 74643 Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU encountered maximum casualties.
The second train, 13006 Amritsar-Howrah Express, sped past by a few seconds later on the adjoining track, killing those who had jumped on to it to escape the first train.
Amritsar Mortuary Could Fall Short of Space, Says Punjab Health Minister
Commenting on the gravity of the tragedy, Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, said that Amritsar’s mortuary might run out of space. Speaking to The Indian Express, Mahindra said:
“The tragedy is so grave that Amritsar may fall short of space in mortuaries to keep the bodies.”
‘Clear Case of Trespassing’, No Permission Given for Event: Railway Officials
The gathering of people close to tracks near Amritsar where a train mowed down Dussehra revellers was a “clear case of trespassing” and no permission for the event had been given by the railways, a senior official told PTI.
Seeking to shift the blame for the tragedy on the Amritsar administration, official sources said the local authorities were aware about the Dussehra programme and that it was attended a senior minister’s wife.
“We’re not kept in the loop and we provided no permission for the event. It is a clear case of trespassing and the local administration should take responsibility,” the railway official said.
Punjab Governor Promises Inquiry
Speaking to ANI, Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore said:
“This is very unfortunate incident.Inquiry will be done and those who need to be punished will be punished and accountability will be fixed. I’m here to ensure that proper medical aid is provided to injured.”
13 trains shortly terminated, 5 trains short originated, 6 trains cancelled & 2 trains diverted following the Amritsar train accident, CPRO Northern Railways told ANI.
Northern Railways Helpline Numbers
Northern Railways issues helpline numbers at New Delhi railway station for #Amritsar accident: 01123342954, 01123341074, 01142622280 & 1072- 4 lines, Railway no. 22280.
Health Min JP Nadda Takes Congnisance of Event
Union Health Minister JP Nadda has spoken to Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, and taken cognisance of the tragedy, reported ANI.
State Health Secretary Enroute Amritsar
Union Health Ministry Secretary Preeti Sudan has spoken to Punjab Principal Health Secretary Satish Chandra, ANI reported. He is proceeding to Amritsar. Health Minister has asked PGI Chandigarh to remain on alert.
Trains Between Amritsar-Jalandhar Suspended
All services on Jalandhar-Amritsar route remained suspended three hours after Dussehra revellers standing across railway tracks were mowed down by a train near Amritsar Friday evening, a railway official told PTI.
‘Approximately 60 Injured Treated So Far’
“Approximately more than 60 injured people including children have received medical treatment till now. Most people have suffered orthopedic injuries, abrasions, head trauma and eye injuries,” Dr Sandeep, Emergency Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Amritsar said.
We Promise Support, But State Govt is Responsible for Ensuring Medical Care, Says Health Minister
In a statement to CNN News18, Health Minister JP Nadda said, “Whatever support you need from us, we’re there to help you. But it is the state’s responsibility to call hospitals and tell them not to turn people away. It is also for the state to do whatever’s necessary.”
ITBP & Punjab Police At Site to Aid Rescue
Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Punjab police personnel are present at the site of the accident to aid in the rescue.
PM Announces Rs 2 Lakh Compensation to Kin of the Dead & Rs 50,000 to Those Injured
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2 lakh compensation for the family of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured in Amritsar train accident.
CM Amarinder Singh Announces Day of State Mourning Tomorrow, Set Up of Crisis Centers
“The state will remain in mourning tomorrow in view of the Amritsar train accident. All offices & educational institutions will remain closed,” CM Amarinder Singh announced. He added that he had ordered an inquiry into the accident and set up crisis centers under the Punjab Health & Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra’s oversight.
People Who Want to Donate Blood Should Arrive at the Civil Hospital: Punjab Govt
People who want to donate blood should arrive at the Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar, the Punjab Government’s Public Relations department said.
BS Majithia: Blame Starts at the Top for This Accident
Akali Dal leader BS Majithia said that Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife’s presence was the reason the accident took place, stating that “responsibility must start at the top, not from the bottom.”
He added that, “witnesses from the scene blamed Navjot Kaur Sidhu saying that she had arrived late, and the programme had to be delayed for her.”
Piyush Goyal: Cancelling All Engagements & Returning to India
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has cancelled all engagements in the US and is immediately returning to India, ANI reported.
Railway Crossing Wasn’t Barricaded, Security Officials Were Busy Protecting Sidhu’s Wife: Reports
The railway crossing where the accident took place wasn’t barricaded or closed off, and the security personnel were busy since they’d been deployed to protect Sidhu’s wife, India Today reported.
Indian Railways Releases Helpline Numbers
Indian Railways issues helpline numbers for the Amritsar accident. Helpline telephone numbers at Manawala station:
- Railways -73325
- BSNL – 0183-2440024
- Power Cabin ASR – Rly – 72820
- BSNL – 0183-2402927
- Vijay Sahota,SSE: 7986897301
- Vijay Patel, SSE: 7973657316
State & Central Govt Should Work Together To Provide Medical Relief: Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the most important thing now was to provide relief to the victims. He added that the state and central governments should join hands to provide medical relief to the victims.
MoS Railways Manoj Sinha: No Permission Sought for Effigy Burning Near Tracks
I’m on my way to the accident site. I should reach a little after midnight. I think people didn’t hear the train because of the sound of fireworks. This is a terrible tragedy. Those injured will be treated. I don’t want to make this a political blame game.Manoj Sinha, MoS, Railways to India Today
Manoj Sinha, MoS, Railways, in a statement to India Today, said that they had received no request for the effigy burning near the railway tracks and added he doesn’t want to turn the accident into a political blame game. He is currently en route to the incident and voiced the state’s full support to the victims.
‘Now is Not the Time For Blaming, We Need to Work Together’
Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said, in a statement to CNN News18, “It’s a very sad incident. My heart goes out to the relatives of the victims. Now is not the time to portion blame. We have to ensure this never ever happens again.”
He added, “We don’t value human lives. That’s the problem. Despite many reports warning about the risks, we don’t take action.”
CNN Claims Two Trains Were Involved in Accident, Northern Railways Refutes Report
The Northern Railways’ CPRO refuted media reports that there were two trains involved in the acciednt. This after CNN News18 reported that the accident took place when people saw a train coming, and ran away to avoid it, only to be mowed down by another speeding train.
“The Operations Incharge at the accident site in Amritsar has told me that only one train was passing from the area. We have issued helpline numbers.CPRO, Northern Railways, to ANI
Why would we tell people to stand on the tracks? They’re our own people. I left before the accident took place. People were standing on the tracks and taking selfies. I left as soon as the effigy had been set ablaze. I wasn’t there when the accident took place.Navjot Kaur, Congress Leader, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife
Navjot Kaur, Congress leader and Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife, refuted reports that said she left the spot after the accident, clarifying that she had left before the incident took place. She added that she had left as soon as the Ravana effigy had been set ablaze.
MoS Railways Manoj Singh and Railway Board Chairman En Route to Accident Site
The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Singh and other concerned authorities are on the way and they will reach the site tonight. This is a terrible tragedy.Smita Vats, ADG, PR
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Singh and Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani are rushing to the accident site.
In a statement to India Today, Navjot Singh Sidhu said the incident was an irreparable loss. He added that he was devastated, especially since it happened in his constituency. Sidhu added that he will reach Amritsar by 7 am tomorrow.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal Offers Condolences
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal offered condolences and said that the Railways was conducting relief and rescue operations in earnest.
CM Amarinder Singh Says Inquiry Will Be Held Into Accident
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said they will leave no stone unturned in ensuring care for those injured.
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 Singh, CM, Punjab
Driver of the Train Did Not Sound the Horn Before Approaching the Crossing: Eyewitness
The people watching the burning Ravana effigy near the Jora Phatak feared that debris from the effigy might fall on them. Fearing this, the people standing close to the effigy started to retreat towards the railway tracks behind them. At this moment, a train ran into at least 100 people standing on the tracks. The driver of the train did not sound the horn before approaching the crossing, hence leading to the mishap.Eyewitness
Rushing to Amritsar, Rs 5 Lakh Announced as Compensation to Kin of Deceased: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Capt. (R) Amarinder Singh is rushing to the accident site. He has announced a compensation of “Rs 5 Lakh to the kin of each deceased and free treatment to injured”.
Railways Issues Statement
The accident occurred at gate no. 27 between Amritsar & Manawala. As Dussehra celebration was taking place some incident had occurred and people started rushing towards closed gate number 27 while a DMU train number 74943 was passing the closed gate: CPRO Northern Railway.
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, posted an “appeal to all our volunteers… to help the authorities”.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Home Secretary of Punjab and DGP of the state, who are rushing to the spot. He also offered the Centre’s assistance.
Rescue Operations Underway, Several Stuck Under Debris
Several people are stuck under the debris. Rescue operations are underway.
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