By Express News Service
Twenty-two people died and over 30 sustained injuries in a stampede on a foot overbridge at Mumbai's Elphinstone Railway Station in Parel in the suburban section of Western Railway on Friday around 10:30 am, according to media reports. The incident occurred at around 9.30 a.m. here at a north foot over bridge.
Commuters panicked upon hearing a rumour that a bridge had collapsed, eyewitnesses said. According to some others, there was a short circuit leading to overcrowding on the bridge.
It was raining heavily and trains steamed into both stations at the same time. That led to overcrowding on the narrow foot-overbridge. Rumours added to the panic and a stampede took place on the staircase that exits from the foot-overbridge, local residents said.
“We saw several people falling off the staircase,” said one commuter.
HELPLINES: Churchgate - 22039840, Mumbai Central- 23051665, Elphinstone Road- 24301614
Here is a video a Twitter user shared of the accident:
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State BJP leader Vinod Tawde has announced a compensation of rupees five lakhs each to the families of the deceased. The state government will bear the medical expenses of those injured.
The Elphinstone Road station is the nearest access point for the newly developed business district of Lower Parel. The foot-overbridge that leads to the exit from the station also connects the Parel station on suburban section of Central Railway.
The bridge has not collapsed, officials stated.
The injured were been taken to KEM hospital by members of the public and the police before the arrival of the brigade.
On enquiry with KEM hospital authorities, it was found that of the 39 injured, 23 were males and 9 were females.
The hospital later said that of those, two are in critical condition. One of them is on the ventilator. The rest were out of danger.
"Two fire engines and one Quick Response Vehicle (QRV), plus six to seven ambulances have been rushed to the spot," said ADFO Sanjay Rane, Station Officer, Sakpal.
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Police have reached the spot while the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s disaster management unit said agencies have been mobilized to tackle the situation.
"An Accidental Death Report (ADR) has been registered at the Dadar police station as the incident took place in the jurisdiction of city police," assistant commissioner of police Sunil Deshmukh told to media.
Police have got hold of CCTV footage of the bridge, he said. "We are also approaching some eye-witnesses to get information about the incident," he added.
Accident Relief Medical Equipment Train were rushed to the accident spot and immediate medical assistance was provided. Senior railway officers were also been rushed to the site.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who returned to the city from a three-day tour of South Korea and Singapore on Friday evening, visited the injured at KEM Hospital.
He said he has also informed the railway ministry that the state government and the local administration will do whatever is needed on their part.
"Not only Maharashtra but the whole country is in a shock over this tragic incident. Twenty-two people have died while 39 are still admitted in the hospital, out of which one person is critical," the Chief Minister said, speaking to reporters outside the hospital.
(With ANI and PTI inputs)