India’s Punjab state chief minister says train accident killed 59

India’s Punjab state chief minister says train accident killed 59

India’s Punjab state chief minister says train accident killed 59

Written by Reuters

20 Oct, 2018 | 6:39 pm

Reuters – India’s northern state of Punjab’s chief minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday (October 20) said total 59 people were killed and 57 were injured in a railway accident on Friday in which a train ran over scores of people gathered on the railway tracks for a festival in the city of Amritsar.

Declining to comment on the likely reasons behind the accident, Singh told that an official inquiry into the accident was underway and was expected to be completed within four weeks.

Grieving relatives and residents, some of whom were still scouring the bloodied fields for belongings of their loved ones, said there was no warning from the train as it rolled down the tracks just as firecrackers exploded in the sky in the annual Dusshera festival.

A local Neeraj Kumar said the government should stop allowing programmes to be held at such small and congested places. Kumar also added that the family of the deceased should be provided with more than $27, 000 as compensation.

The local residents of the area have also decided to keep their shops shut and help the families of the victims.

India’s state railways, largely built during British colonial rule, have long faced criticism for their safety record. A political focus on keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network daily has resulted in decades of underinvestment in rail safety infrastructure, critics say.

Data from parliament in July showed that 49,790 people were killed by trains on the tracks in India between 2015 to 2017.

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