Several people were killed after a train ran into crowds at Joda Phatak crossing in Amritsar. "My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured", tweets Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Amritsar train mishap.
As per initial reports, people watching the burning of Ravan effigy on the occasion of the Dussehra celebrations were standing alongside the railway tracks and could not hear the sound of the train approaching due to the crackers' noise.
Image: People had gathered near the tracks to watch a burning effigy.
At least 300 people were at the spot watching "Ravana dahan" at a ground near the tracks.
Before the train drivers could react, several people came under the wheels.
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Pratap Singh Bajwa, a local party leader, has said there are at least 50 casualties. Witnesses said that as fire was set to the Ravan effigy amid exploding crackers, numerous around 700 people gathered at the event moved back from the flames only to end up standing on the tracks.
"When the effigy started to burn in full flow, people began running away from it fearing it may fall over them", said another man.
Eyewitnesses said there were no barricading near the railway tracks and the people were forced to see the Dusshehra ceremony by standing on tracks.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is on his way to Amritsar. It has been said that the foremost priority is to save the injured and clear the debris. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required.
The chief minister also announced free treatment to all injured in the accident.