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Railways was not intimated about Dussehra event near tracks: Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani

He said that the accident occurred at a stretch between two stations -- Amritsar and Manawala, and not at a level crossing.

Published: 20th October 2018 09:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2018 09:39 AM   |  A+A-

The site of a railway accident near the venue of Dussehra festivities at Joda Phatak in Amritsar Friday Oct 19 2018. Officials said at least 60 bodies have been found and many more injured have been admitted to a government hospital. (PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The railways was not intimated about a Dussehra event along the tracks that led to the deaths of at least 61 people in Amritsar, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a statement.

He said that the accident occurred at a stretch between two stations -- Amritsar and Manawala, and not at a level crossing.

"At midsections, trains run at their assigned speed and people are not expected to be on the tracks. At midsections, there is no railway staff posted. We have staff at level crossings whose job is to regulate traffic," he said, explaining why the railways was not alerted about the congregation by its staff.

He said that the gateman was 400 metres away at a level crossing. He also said that if the driver had applied emergency breaks, there could have been a bigger tragedy.

He said that the train was running at its assigned speed and initial reports suggest that the driver applied brakes and the train slowed down.

"There was no information and no permission sought from us. The event took place at a place adjoining the railway land in private property," he said.

Refusing to assign any blame, Lohani, who visited the spot at midnight, said that the national transporter has been carrying out campaigns exhorting people not to trespass.

"We will take that forward," he said.

At least 61 people were killed and 72 injured Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by a train near here, officials said.

The train was coming from Jalandhar when the accident occurred at Joda Phatak near Amritsar, where at least 300 people were watching 'Ravana dahan' at a ground adjacent to the tracks.



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  • dharampal

    The organizers failed to inform the railway authorities about the function or did not seek the permission but why the gateman at phatak no 27 did not inform the station supervisor at Amritsar about huge gathering on tracks and railway protection force was not pressed into to remove the tress passers from the tracks.Will the chairman take note of such functions being organized near railway tracks in other parts of the country as about six such functions are reported to be held in Punjab.
    2 years ago reply
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