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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Amritsar train accident: Driver says was given green signal to go on, detained

The Punjab and Railway Police on Saturday questioned the driver of the train that crushed at least 60 people while they were watching the burning of a Ravana effigy from a railway track Friday night in Amritsar.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2018 11:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Amritsar
Family members grieve for the victims of the Amritsar train accident.
Family members grieve for the victims of the Amritsar train accident.(Reuters)
         

The Punjab and Railway Police on Saturday questioned the driver of the train that crushed at least 60 people while they were watching the burning of a Ravana effigy from a railway track Friday night in Amritsar.

Punjab Police officials said that the driver, also called loco pilot, had been detained at Ludhiana railway station and was being questioned about the incident in Amritsar, IANS reported.

Earlier on Friday, the driver had informed the station master at Amritsar about the tragedy, officials said.

A railway official said the driver’s version will also be recorded to ascertain the cause of the accident.

Sources said that the driver claimed that he was given green signal and all clear and had no idea that hundreds of people were standing on the tracks.

Railway officials were also gathering information from the linemen posted along the tracks near the Jora Phatak area who failed to inform the driver about the presence of hundreds of people on the tracks.

Witnesses and survivors said the deafening noise of fire crackers masked the sound of the approaching train.

Union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha who visited the accident spot late Friday night, said that the incident was being probed and that the tragedy was unfortunate.

No action has so far been initiated against the organisers, who are leaders of the ruling Congress in Punjab, of the Dussehra event. Police sources said that the organisers had gone underground.