Amritsar Train Accident: 61 dead, Driver Says ‘Not My Fault’

At least 61 people lost their lives and 72 got injured on Friday when a speeding train mowed them down while they were celebrating Dussehra.

The accident happened near Joda Phatak area of Amritsar where a large number of people were watching the burning of Ravan effigy while standing along the railway tracks when train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar, crushed them.

The Punjab Police and Railway Police have detained driver of the train for questioning at the Ludhiana Railway Station.

Sources told news agency IANS that the driver has claimed that he was given a green signal and all clear, and that he had no idea that hundreds of people were standing on the tracks when the train crossed the area.

The incident sent shock waves across the country. There was an outpouring of grief with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore and several other leaders condoling the loss of lives.

Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani rushed to the spot while the state government announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the next of kin of those who were killed.

PM Modi announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the family of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured. He also directed officials to provide immediate assistance.

(Nilesh) Editorial Staff

Nilesh is an budding journalist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.