At least 50 killed as train runs over Dussehra revellers in Punjab

People had gathered near the tracks to watch a burning effigy. Pic @SATINDER_13

Image People had gathered near the tracks to watch a burning effigy. Pic @SATINDER_13

According to initial reports, the unfortunate incident took place when people were observing the Ravana effigy burning near the track.

As per PTI, over 300 people were present at the venue to watch "Ravana Dahan" when the speeding train travelling from Jalandhar to Amritsar passed by. Local authorities are evacuating the injured people from the accident site and are being shifted to a nearby hospital.

The victims were crowded on the rail track on the outskirts of Amritsar in Punjab state, said Pratap Singh Bajwa.

#WATCH Amritsar accident: Police Commissioner SS Srivastava says, "Exact death toll is not known but it is definitely more than 50-60".

"Everyone was running helter-skelter and suddenly another train crashed into the crowds of people", he said.

Google Maps image locates Joda Phatak, near Amritsar in Punjab. Around 50 injured have been admitted to a government hospital, Sharma said.

He said the crowd did not see the speeding train approaching, adding that the train did not stop after the accident.

"The tragedy is heart-wrenching", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

'My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly'. Minister Rajnath Singh has tweeted that all support from the central government would be given in this hour of grief. "Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required", he said.

On the other hand, another eyewitness at the Amritsar accident site alleged that the event was organised by the Congress party without seeking due clearances.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said he was shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic train incident. "My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured". He said he has spoken to Punjab home secretary and DGP regarding the accident.

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