Over 58 dead in Amritsar train accident on Dussehra

RNS: Over fifty-eight people were dead while several injured after two speeding trains in opposite directions mowed down people standing on the tracks near a railway crossing watching a Ravan effigy being burnt at a Dussehra celebration at Amritsar on Friday evening.

According to the eyewitness, there were more than 500 spectators at the Dhobi Ghat ground, about 1.5 kms from the Amritsar station. Many of them stood on the tracks close to the Jaura Phatak crossing to get a better view and were taking videos of the burning Ravan as the first of the trains, 74643 Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU, ran them over.

The second train, the 13006 Amritsar-Howrah Express, sped past seconds later and some of those who had jumped on the second set of tracks to escape the first were caught under it, said the eyewitness.

The state government announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the next of kin of those who were killed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of the deceased individuals and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

PM also directed officials to provide immediate assistance.

The state government has also declared Saturday a day of mourning in the state. Offices and educational institutions will remain shut.

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