Two people died and twelve others were injured, including two children and two women, following a stampede on a foot over bridge at Santragachi railway station in West Bengal. Sources said the incident occurred due to the arrival of two trains at the same time. People rushed to board the trains and that created a stampede-like situation on the bridge.
A Railway official said due to overcrowding on the bridge, eight people became unconscious and compounded the situation. 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, one person is critical and 12 others are admitted to the hospital,” she said. Read the story in Bengali here
সাঁতরাগাছিতে ফুটব্রিজ দুর্ঘটনার খবর পেয়ে আহতদের দেখতে হাসপাতালে পৌঁছন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্য়ায় pic.twitter.com/atlW7EZKcF
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Banerjee said an administrative inquiry would be initiated into the incident. “Railway is the lifeline of the country, they should be more sensitive. I have recently seen many incidents, including the one that took place in Amritsar. There is definitely negligence and callousness on part of the Railways. We will initiate an administrative inquiry into the incident,” the CM said.
The state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to each of the family of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh for the critically injured patient. As per sources, the incident took place on the footbridge of platform number 2 and 3. The Railways said they would also launch a probe into the incident.
“About 6 pm, there was a heavy rush of passengers at the foot over bridge due to which 14 people were injured and shifted to the health unit at Santragachi. Three people, who sustained minor injuries, were released while 11 were shifted to the Howrah General Hospital. Medical teams were also rushed to the spot when the incident occurred. We will probe the incident,” said Sanjoy Ghosh, CPRO of South Eastern Railway. Railways has also issued two helpline numbers — 033-2221072 (Kharagpur) and 03326295561 (Santragachi).
An eye-witness said one portion of the bridge was broken and the incident could have been worse. “I was stuck in the middle of the crowd. People were abusing each other and many were lying on the floor. In fact, one portion of the bridge was also broken. This could have been a bigger incident,” Manjurima Das told reporters.
In 2017, a similar incident had claimed 22 lives at Mumbai’s Elphinstone station after people rushed to board their train.