At least 50 dead after train runs over crowd in India

Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones. Pic @adarshdgp

Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones. Pic @adarshdgp

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked home secretary, health secretary and additional director general of police (law and order) to rush to Amritsar.

In a awful disaster, at least 30 people watching the burning of Ravan effigy were mowed down by speeding train here in Punjab on Friday, police said.

While Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced Rs 5 lakh for kin of each deceased and free treatment for the injured, officials said there was no decision as yet on any compensation from the Railways.

A crisis management center was in operation, and Singh described the mobilization of local authorities as on par with "war footing".

Hospital staff move a stretcher with an injured man after a commuter train struck a crowd seated on tracks in Amritsar, India, October 19, 2018. As another train arrived from the opposite direction at the same time, people on the track had little opportunity to escape.There were about 500 people at the spot when the accident occurred.

Amritsar deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said, "All city hospitals were alerted about the injured patients and ambulances from neighbouring districts have been requisitioned to carry the injured and dead", he said. The accident happened around 7 pm, officials said.

The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar. Most of the people gathered there apparently did not hear the approaching train.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the incident on Twitter.

"Everyone was running helter-skelter and suddenly the train crashed into the crowds of people", he said.

A Reuters witness at the scene saw bodies of victims strewn around rail tracks, friends and relatives stood around in shock, many were sobbing and appeared distraught. "The tragedy is heart-wrenching", Mr. Modi tweeted.

'My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly'. "They are rushing to the spot".

Railways have issued helpline numbers for assistance in Amritsar train accident:The numbers are 0183-2223171 and 0183-2564485. In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off railroad tracks in eastern India.

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