Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has ruled out that the stampede at Allahabad station in which about 20 people lost their lives and many injured was caused due to the breaking of foot-over bridge's railing at platform no 6.
He said efforts are being made to decongest the Allahabad railway station which is overcrowded as thousands of pilgrims were here to take holy dip on Mauni amavasya at the Mahakumbh and added that probe into the incident will be initiated.
Bansal said the compensation for the next of the kin of the deceased and the injured is being announced by the Prime Minister's Office and will be disbursed from the PM's relief fund.
"My information is the railing of the FOB has not been broken....our effort is to make arrangement to take people out of Allahabad for which we are making efforts to press into service more special trains from Allahabad," Bansal told reporters in New Delhi.
He said there are total 112 trains that pass through Allahabad Railway station and railways started 49 special trains for the Mahakumbh today.
Describing the incident as sad one, he said "the stampede occurred at platform no 6 at Allahabad railway station. According to my information about 10 people have died and 12/13 people injured. All injured have been admitted to the hospital. Earlier railway officers could not reach to the spot due to the heavy rush of people."
He said "Efforts are now on to bring back people from Allahabad and the Railways is exploring possibilities of pressing more special trains after diverting from other areas."
Senior Railway officers have reached the spot and General Manager (North Central Railway) is there to assist the relief and rescue operations and also to decongest Allahabad Railway Station.
Asked about the reasons for the incident, Bansal said it is yet to be ascertained.
Chairman Railway Board Vinay Mittal said a senior railway official (Additional Member Traffic" is leaving for Allahabad immediately to assist the operations there.
Asked if any probe has been initiated into the incident, Bansal said, "It will be done later. Currently our focus is on decongesting the railway station and relief for the injured."
Railways have announced helplines at different stations including New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Allahabad, Lucknow.
Some of the helpline numbers are 05321072, 2408149, 011-23341074, 011-24357660.