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Amritsar train accident Updates: Railway admin had no information about Dussehra event, says minister

Amritsar Train Accident Updates: Police said the crowd was watching a Ravana effigy burn while standing on a railway track in Amritsar’s Joda.

By HT Correspodent | Oct 20, 2018 01:11 IST

At least 61 people were killed as a train ran over revellers watching Dussehra celebrations in Punjab’s Amritsar, police said.

The incident took place around 6:45 pm at Dhobi Ghat near Jaura Phatak railway crossing.

A crowd of around 300 people was watching Ravan effigies being burnt when the passenger train hit the people standing on the track, about 200 feet away, said senior police officer Lakhbir Singh.

Here are the updates:

1:06am IST

Railway admin had no information about this event: Minister

“Railway administration is at work to provide all kinds of needed help. It’s not the time to do politics. Priority is to give best medical aid to injured. Railway administration had no information about this event,” says MoS Railways Manoj Sinha at the site of the accident, according to ANI.

12:32am IST

13 trains shortly terminated, 6 cancelled: Northern Railways

13 trains shortly terminated, 5 trains short originated, 6 trains cancelled and 2 trains diverted following Amritsar train accident: CPRO, Northern Railways

11:50 pm IST

61 dead in Amritsar train accident

60 dead, 51 have been injured in Amritsar train accident, ANI quoted Chief Medical Officer of Civil Hospital in Amritsar as saying while PTI reported the number of deaths to have gone upto 61.

11:20 pm IST

Incident wouldn’t have occurred if all precautions were taken : BS Majithia

I visited the accident site. Everyone present there including those who lost their family members complained against Navjot Kaur Sidhu and Navjot Sidhu and the councillor of the area. They all felt that the incident wouldn’t have occurred if all precautions were taken: SAD leader BS Majithia, reports ANI.

11:00 pm IST

Toll rises to 58

Around 58 people have died so far: Amritsar Police Commissioner SS Srivastava.

10:50 pm IST

Action will be taken against those found guilty: Amritsar MP

“Probe will be conducted into the incident, action will be taken against those found guilty, even if it is Navjot Kaur Sidhu,” says MP from Amritsar, Gurjeet Singh Aujla who is present at the civil hospital, reports ANI.

10:36 pm IST

State mourning declared in Punjab

“The state will remain in mourning tomorrow in view of Amritsar train mishap. All offices and educational institutions will remain closed,” tweets Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.

10:35 pm IST

Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Punjab police present at accident site

10:30 pm IST

PM Modi approves Rs 2 lakhs for kin of dead

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2 lakhs for the family of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured in Amritsar train accident.

10:28 pm IST

Medical teams are rushing to the spot: MoS Railways

Medical teams are rushing to the spot. I am also leaving for the site of the accident. As per initial information, people present near the railway track couldn’t hear the sound of the approaching train due bursting crackers: MoS Railways Manoj Sinha on Amritsar train accident

10:11 pm IST

30 patients succumbed to injuries at civil hospital: Senior medical officer

“At least 80 patients have been brought here. Of them, 30 have succumbed to injuries. The condition of 25 patients is very serious,” says civil hospital senior medical officer Dr Rajinder Arora.

10:11 pm IST

Amarinder Singh orders inquiry into the accident

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has ordered an inquiry into the train accident.

10:05 pm IST

Blood donation at Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar: Govt

People who want to donate blood should arrive at the Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar: Public Relations department, Punjab Government.

10:00 pm IST

Piyush Goyal cancels all engagements, retuning to India

Railway minister Piyush Goyal has cancelled all engagements in the USA and immediately returning back to India.

9:59 pm IST

From initial report, it appears tragedy could have been avoided: Jaitley

An unfortunate tragedy has taken place. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their lives and injured in this incident, which from the initial reports appear to be a tragedy that could have been avoided: Arun Jaitley.

9:46 pm IST

Only one train was passing from the area: Northern Railways CPRO

Operations Incharge at the accident site in #Amritsar has told me that only one train was passing from the area. We have issued helpline numbers: CPRO, Northern Railways on #Amritsar train accident, reports ANI

9:44 pm IST

Helpline number for Amritsar rail accident

9:43 pm IST

Ravan effigy was being burnt 70-80 m from railway gate: Railways CPRO

Ravan effigy was being burnt 70-80 m from the gate, when the effigy fell, people present there ran towards the railway track, at the time a train was passing and level crossing there was shut. As per initial information, 30-35 people were injured: CPRO, Northern Railways on Amritsar train accident

9:26 pm IST

Had left the site when the incident happened: Navjot Kaur Sidhu

The effigy of Ravan was burnt and I had just left the site when the incident happened. Priority is to get the injured treated. Dussehra celebrations are held there every year. People who are doing politics over this incident should be ashamed, says Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Amritsar (East) MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu.

9:10 pm IST

Two trains arrived from opposite direction at the same time: Officials

According to officials, two trains arrived from opposite direction at the same time giving little opportunity to people to escape, reports PTI

9:10 pm IST

No barricading near the railway tracks, say eyewitnesses

Eyewitnesses said there were no barricading near the railway tracks and the people were forced to see the Dusshehra ceremony by standing on tracks. The effigy of Ravana was being burnt around 200 feet away from the railway track.

9:08pm IST

Minister Manoj Sinha, railway board chairman rush to Amritsar

Minister of state Manoj Sinha is immediately rushing to Amritsar along with chairman of the railway board.

9:06 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi asks state govt, party workers to provide immediate relief

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asks state govt, party workers to provide immediate relief at Amritsar train accident site.

9:05 pm IST

Railways conducting immediate relief, rescue operations: Piyush Goyal

Railway minister Piyush Goyal says, “Shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic train incident that occurred in Amritsar. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. I pray for the injured to recover quickly. Railways is conducting immediate relief and rescue operations.”

9:15 pm IST

The state is on full alert: Punjab CM

8:54 pm IST

Death toll definitely more than 50-60: Police

Police Commissioner SS Srivastava says, “Exact death toll is not known but it is definitely more than 50-60. We are still evacuating people.”

8:50 pm IST

Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife was chief guest at the celebrations: Eyewitness

8:45 pm IST

Asked officials to provide immediate assistance, PM Modi

8:43 pm IST

Speeding train caught in video

8:40 pm IST

Centre to provide all possible assistance to Punjab: Rajnath Singh

Home minister Rajnath Singh says Centre to provide all possible assistance to Punjab.

The home minister says he has spoken to home secretary and DGP of Punjab regarding the accident and they are rushing to the spot.

8:30 pm IST

Govt announces Rs 5 lakh to kin of dead, free treatment for injured

8:26 pm IST

Authorities directed to take up relief, rescue operations on a war footing: CM

8:25 pm IST

Toll rises to 50

Death toll mounts to 50 as train mows down Dussehra revellers near Amritsar: Subdivisional magistrate Rajesh Sharma

8:10 pm IST

People were standing on Amritsar-Delhi railway route

Hundreds of people were standing on Amritsar-Delhi railway route to watch Dussehra ceremony. They failed to hear the sound of the approaching train as it got drowned out by the noise of firecrackers being let off during the burning of Ravana effigy. In the meantime, the DMU train was coming from Hoshiarpur to Amritsar via Jalandhar as scheduled around 7pm and mowed down several people.