At least 50 dead in train crash

The train could not be heard approaching due to the sound of firecrackers. Pic @SATINDER_13

Amritsar: In a horrific incident, around 50 people glued to watching a burning Ravan effigy while standing on railway tracks were crushed by a speeding train here in Punjab on Friday.

As the effigy was lit and the fireworks started at the religious function, a section of the crowd started retreating toward railroad tracks while watching the event.

According to The Times of India, citing railway officials, they had spilled on the tracks to get a good view of a burning effigy of the demon Ravana, which is a tradition of the annual gala. "We are evacuating people, injured taken to the hospital", a policeman was quoted as saying.

The toll is expected to rise over 100.

Singh said he was rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief and rescue operations.

Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the annual Dussehra celebrations at Chowra Bazaar.

An eyewitness told a local TV channel there was "utter commotion" when the crowds noticed the train "coming very fast" towards them.

"The tragedy is heart-wrenching". Severed bodies, including of many children, were still lying on the accident site hours after the incident with angry people not allowing authorities to remove them. He said he asked officials concerned to provide immediate assistance. Singh himself will visit Amritsar on Saturday. "My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured", tweets Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Amritsar train mishap. Speaking to Zee News, eyewitnesses blamed the administration for not taking adequate precautionary measures.

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