At least 23 people were killed while 38 others injured in a stampede at a footover bridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations in Mumbai on Friday morning. Police officials attributed the stampede to the rains and overcrowding. According to witnesses, people tried to rush into the station during a spell of heavy rain in the morning. Further, as trains pulled into both the stations, more people gathered.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday night reached KEM hospital where the injured victims from the stampede had been brought for treatment. Speaking to reporters outside the hospital, he described the incident as “sad and serious” and promised an enquiry into it. “It was a very sad and a serious incident. An inquiry will be done into the incident,” he said.
Fadnavis said that an audit of the footover bridge at the Elphinstone Road station has been initiated to prevent future incidents.
Elphinstone Road station stampede live updates:
8.25 pm: A case has been registered against the Sena members in Bhoiwada police station under sections 143, 144, 149 34 and 343.
7.35 pm: Four to Five Shiv Sena members attempted to attack the forensic head of KEM Hospital over the hospital’s decision to identify the deceased victims of the Elphinstone Road station stampede by writing numbers on their foreheads. One of the attackers, identified as Nilesh Ramesh Dhumal, carried a pen saying he wanted to write on Pathak’s forehead. Read the full story here.
5.06 pm: KEM Hospital Dean, Avinash Supe says, “The patient was put on a ventilator as soon as he was admitted to the hospital. We tried to save him but he succumbed to internal injuries,” reported PTI. He added that the body will be handed over to his relatives after routine procedures are completed.
3.46 pm: Mangal Prabhat, after attending a meeting at the Western Railways headquarters in Churchgate, says action will be taken to construct a new bridge at the Elphinstone Road station immediately. Prabhat is a Maharashtra MLA and member of the BJP.
3.09 pm: Satyendra Kanojia, a victim of the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, passed away this morning at KEM Hospital in Mumbai. He had been on a ventilator since yesterday and was in a critical condition.
2.51 pm: The death toll has risen to 23. One person succumbed to injuries at KEM Hospital this morning.
12:30 pm: Union Minister of Railways Pitush Goyal convened a meeting of full Railway board on Saturday to take stock of the on-going infrastructural works on the suburban train network, news agency PTI reported. The meeting will take place at Western Railway’s headquarters at Churchgate.
12:05 pm: Raj Thackeray addresses a press conference in Mumbai: “On 5th October I will lead a Morcha to Western railway Headquarters at Churchgate and ask them questions about their infrastructure,” Thackeray says. “He added: “Why do we need terrorists or enemies like Pakistan?it seems our own Railway is enough to kill people.”
11:55 am: Raj Thackeray, addressing a press conference in Mumbai threatened the state govt that he will take action into his hands. “We will give a deadline to throw out illegal hawkers from station bridges, if it is not complied with then we’ll act on our own.” He further added: “On 5th October I will lead a Morcha to Western railway HQ at Churchgate and ask them questions about their infrastructure.”
11:45 am: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray warned authorities that the construction of bullet trains in Mumbai will not start before the present infrastructure is improved. Speaking to reporters, Thackeray said, “Until present infrastructure of local railways is made better, not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for bullet train in Mumbai.” He further questioned the government’s statement blaming the rains for the stampede. “It is not the first time that it rained in Mumbai.They (Railway) say it happened due to rains?” Raj Thackeray said. “List of issues related to Mumbai Local will be given to Railway on 5 October with a deadline. If things don’t get better, we will see to it,” he further added.
10:00 am: KEM hospital in Mumbai hospital tending to the victims of the Elphinstone Road station stampede has received flak for showing “insenstivity” after the bodies were marked with numbers on forehad and their pictures were put up for public display. According to the hospital officials, the measure was taken to “avoid chaos”, news agency PTI reported. They further added that images of the victims were put up on a flex board to start the process of identification. The officials further said that it would have been a “big mental trauma to make the relatives see all 22 bodies” for identification. In a statement to the press, Dr Harish Pathak, head of the forensic science department of the KEM hospital said, “It would have become a chaotic and hectic exercise.” He further added: “Hence, we took photographs of all the bodies, numbered them and displayed them to the relatives on a laptop screen”. Describing the criticism as “unjustified”, the statement added that the menthod adopted by the hospital was for “speedy, honourable and smooth identification” of the victims.
9:30 am: Life gets back to normal at elphinstone station Commuters light candles paying homage to victims of stampede. Watch images below:
9:00 am: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat who was attending Vijaydashmi festivities in Nagpur expressed his condolences over the incident. “Deeply saddened by incident which occurred yesterday. My condolences to families of those who lost their lives,” he said.
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