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Over 50 dead in Amritsar train accident

Amritsar: More than 50 people were dead after a train ran into people watching Dussehra celebrations near train track in Amritsar’s Choura Bazar on Friday.

The incident occurred during Dussehra celebrations at Joda Phatak near Amritsar.

At least 50 people were killed when a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train near here, officials said.

The Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced compensation of Rs five lakh each to the kin of the deceased and free treatment to all injured in the accident.

“Rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief and rescue in tragic rail accident on Dussehra in Amritsar. My government will give Rs 5 lakh to kin of each deceased and free treatment to injured in government and private hospitals. District authorities have been mobilised on war footing,” Singh tweeted.

The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar when the incident occurred in the evening at Joda Phatak. At least 300 people were at the spot watching ‘Ravana dahan’ at a ground near the tracks.

Sub Divisional Magistrate, Amritsar I, Rajesh Sharma said 50 bodies have been found and at least 50 injured have been admitted to a government hospital.

Officials said the toll may be higher.

As the effigy was lit and the fireworks went off, a section of the crowd started retreating towards the tracks where a large number of people were already standing to watch the event, officials said.

However, two trains arrived from the opposite direction at the same time giving little opportunity to people to escape, they said

Several people were mowed down by one of the trains, they added.


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