Two speeding trains killed over 50 people and left several injured in Amritsar Friday, as they were standing on the railway tracks watching a Ravana effigy being burnt during a Dussehra celebration. Majority of the deaths was caused by the first train, Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU. The second train, the Amritsar-Howrah Express, ran over those who had jumped on the second set of tracks to escape the first.
At least 300 spectators had gathered at the Dhobi Ghat ground barely 2 kilometres from the Amritsar station. Although the gates at the Jaura Phatak crossing were closed at the time, many of them stood on the tracks to it to get a better view and were taking videos of the burning Ravan as the first of the trains ran them over.
VIDEO: Over 50 feared dead as train mows down Dussehra revellers near Amritsar. pic.twitter.com/HXm9QcY1rz
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) October 19, 2018
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh visited the site Saturday to take stock of the situation. The state government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh as compensation to then ext of kin of those who were killed. A day of mourning is being observed across the state today.