Dussehra celebrations in Amritsar turned sour as approximately 59 people were mowed down by two fast trains at a railway crossing. The victims had gathered to witness the Ravan effigy being burnt at a Dussehra celebration.
At least 300 spectators were present at the Dhobi Ghat ground, barely 2 km from the Amritsar station. As the effigy burned and crackers started going off, many people took evasive action and stood on the tracks close to the Jaura Phatak crossing to get a better view and make videos of the event. At the same time, 74643 Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU, ran them over. The second train, the 13006 Amritsar-Howrah Express, crossed the scene and mowed down the people who had moved to the other track to save themselves from the first train.
The state government announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the next of kin of those who were killed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other hand, announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
The Indian cricket fraternity was shocked to know about the incident and took to Twitter to share the pain of others and pray for the souls departed for the heavenly abode.
Here are some tweets:
The train tragedy in Amritsar has left most of us speechless....a tragedy that could’ve been avoided. Thoughts and prayers for the families of the affected.— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 19, 2018
Just heard about the Heart-wrenching news of the terrible train accident in Amtitsar. My prayers for the families affected.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 19, 2018
Those who wish to donate blood should arrive at the Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar.
Deeply saddened by the terrible terrible train accident in Amritsar.— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) October 19, 2018
My deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones.
Thoughts and prayers to the families. May god give strength to overcome this tragic loss. #Amritsar— Pragyan Prayas Ojha (@pragyanojha) October 19, 2018
My prayers are with the families of those affected by the terrible train accident in Amritsar yesterday.— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 20, 2018
Deeply saddened by the tragic #AmritsarTrainAccident. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) October 19, 2018
Extremely saddened to see the loss of lives in Amritsar #trainaccident. Deepest condolences to the bereaved families. ????— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) October 19, 2018
Extremely anguished by the tragic train accident in #Amritsar. Condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured.— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) October 19, 2018