Amritsar Train Tragedy: 59 dead, Railways says ‘clear case of trespassing’
New Delhi :
The gathering of people on the railway tracks near Amritsar where a train ploughed through Dussehra revellers watching the effigy of Ravana burn was a “clear case of trespassing” and organisers didn’t seek any permission from railways, said a senior official.
“We’re not kept in the loop and we provided no permission for the event. It is a clear case of trespassing and the local administration should take responsibility,” PTI quoted the railway official as saying.
When asked why the driver of the drain didn’t stop the train after noticing large crowd on the tracks, the official said, “There was so much smoke that the driver was unable to see anything and he was also negotiating a curve.”
“However, railways’ entire machinery is at the spot and we are cooperating with the local administration in rescue and relief operations” the official added.
At least 59 were killed and 57 others injured as a train zipped through them—crushing and blowing away anybody who came in its way.
As many as 300 people had gathered at the spot to watch ‘Ravana Dahan’ on the occasion of Dussehra - a Hindu festival marking the victory of good over evil.
Residents protest at the accident spot
Meanwhile, people in the area on Saturday staged a sit-in on the railway tracks where the 61 people were mowed down. The protesters raised slogans against the state government and demanded action against the train driver.
One of the protesters alleged the train passed the area at a high speed and that the driver did not slow down the train despite the presence of a large crowd.