A thorough investigation will be conducted into the train accident that claimed more than 50 lives in Amritsar, and the probe will include how and why a Ravan effigy was allowed to be burnt by the railway tracks as part of Dussehra celebrations, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Friday. Amarinder, who was scheduled to leave for Israel on Friday evening, postponed the trip and will fly to Amritsar on Saturday morning to assess the damage and meet families of the victims.
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The Health Department has issued instructions to the Civil Surgeon in Amritsar to ensure that private hospitals rise to the occasion after the government received reports that some private hospitals were refusing to admit accident victims.
Amarinder announced immediate ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to family of each of the deceased and assured them of every possible help. State mourning was announced in Punjab. All educational institutions will remain shut Saturday.
The government has asked all Cabinet Ministers to reach Amritsar Saturday to pay condolences. Education Minister O P Soni, who reached the spot soon after the mishap, was reportedly heckled by angry local residents.