Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Train kills at least 60 people watching fireworks in India during festival

Train kills at least 60 people watching fireworks in India during festival

Outpouring grief over the tragedy has made everyone shift their gears as Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh ordered an inquiry to determine if any lapses had been responsible for Friday night's accident. "We are announcing a magisterial probe into the incident", Singh said.

R.C. Yadav, former chairman of Punjab state's Workers Welfare Board, said that numerous 60 killed and dozens injured when a speeding train ran over a crowd celebrating the Hindu festival of Dussehra on Friday night had left their families in neighboring states to work in factories and shops in Punjab.

They were crushed under the wheels of the train coming from Jalandhar and heading towards Amritsar station.

However, junior railways minisfter Manoj Sinha said after visiting the accident site that organisers did not alert railway authorities about their plan to hold the event there.

The Commission of Railway Safety works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and conducts mandatory inquiry into all railway accidents - at unmanned level crossings, derailments or after a bridge collapse.

Lohani Saturday also dismissed the railways' responsibility in the tragedy.

The railways have maintained that it was not at fault because it had no intimation about the Dussehra event.

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R.C. Yadav, former chairman of Punjab state's Workers Welfare Board, said they were mostly migrant workers.

The train failed to stop after the accident on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state, according to Congress party politician Pratap Singh Bajw, The Guardian reports. "There were severed bodies all over the place", said Baljit Kaur, a witness. The CM, who visited the injured in the hospital, sought a report within four weeks. "An inquiry should be done by an independent agency", he said. There has been no action taken against the organizers yet.

Badal also demanded compensation of Rs 1 crore per person and government jobs for the families of those killed in the tragic train accident.

THe Chief Minister urged all political parties "to rise above petty politicking to join hands to mitigate the sufferings of the victims and their families".

He alleged that Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur was exclusively answerable for the accident as she was the chief guest at the Dussehra function and responsible for holding such a big event sans security and safety measures.

Earlier it was reported that the organisers had acquired a no-objection certificate from the police, but they did not pay any attention to the municipal authorities' consent. Angry people even threw stones at the Madans house. Why the matter is being covered up. "More importantly, right now we need rehabilitation and a healing touch", Mr. Singhvi said.

Video footage from the scene showed hundreds had gathered to watch the burning of an effigy as part of the Dussehra festival celebrations, when a commuter train ran through the crowd. Over 59 people lost their lives in the injured while several others sustained injuries.

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