VIDEO – More than 60 Dead in Amritsar Dusshera Celebrations Tragedy

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Amritsar Train Accident Spot
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The Dussehra festivities in India unfolded on a very sombre note.

At least 300 people had gathered at Joda Phatak near Amritsar on Friday evening to watch a glimpse of ‘Ravana Dahan’ (burning of Ravana effigy) as a part of Vijay Dashmi culture. What became almost unpardonable was that the crowd was standing not just adjacent, but on the tracks to watch the Ravana burn.

 

Amritsar Train Accident Location

 

The by-standers were happily taking videos of the effigy burning, when tragedy struck. A speeding train ran past the tracks on which the crowd had gathered and smashed across a sea of people in a flash of few seconds.

More than sixty people have been reported dead and approximately seventy-two people were injured on the spot as per the count last night. The injured were immediately rushed and admitted to a hospital in Amritsar. There are many women and children who have died in the incident as well.

Raveen Thukral, media advisor to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, said as per initial reports it was communicated that the accident occurred due to a stampede, as people rushed towards the tracks when crackers burst during the burning of the Ravana effigy. However, later it was clarified that the reports indicated a train crashed through the crowd on the tracks at that time, he added.

While the effigy was lit and fireworks came on, a section of crowd starting retreating towards the tracks where already a large number of people had gathered. Most of them even indulged in filming the celebrations on their mobile cameras. What one never expected is to capture a running train speeding over several people who were a part of this not so memorable incident.

 

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Amritsar Dusshera Celebrations

Further it was not just one train but two that arrived from opposite direction at the same time leaving very little scope for people to escape.

Within just about 10 to 15 seconds the entire scene was left behind with a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

“Out of nowhere came the train,” said a man at the site. “Before anyone could realise what was happening, it ran over scores of people.”

Another man said, “When the effigy started to burn in full flow, people began running away from it fearing it may fall over them. They did not realise that a speeding train was coming and the train did not sound its hooter.”

 

As per reports, CRPO Northern Railways had terminated thirteen trains, cancelled six and two trains were diverted following the accident.

 

 

 

Another controversy which opposition chose to attack Punjab government on, was about Minister Navjot Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at the programme. News Agency ANI posted a video of an ‘eyewitness’ who said that Mrs. Sidhu continued to give speech even when tragedy had already struck.

 

At a time when mudslinging and politics was the last thing the state government wanted, many TV news channels started making this as an issue more critical than the dead and injured. Later, ANI posted a correction tweet saying that the eyewitness, Rajesh Honey was a BJP Spokesperson.

 

 

Mrs. Sidhu clarified that she left the spot to prioritise treatment for all injured. She also slammed everyone who did not miss playing politics over this.

 

 

Another video emerged of Mrs. Sidhu, who is also a doctor by profession, where she is seen giving first aid treatments to all survivors at the Amritsar hospital.

 

 

Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh was constantly communicating about the actions being taken towards the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Amritsar.

 

 

He has also declared state mourning today in view of the very unfortunate mishap.

 

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