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50 dead after train runs over Dussehra revellers in Amritsar

Amritsar, Oct 19: At least 50 people were killed Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train near here, officials said.

The train was en route to Amritsar from Jalandhar. At least 300 people were at the spot watching ‘Ravandahan’, sources said.

According to initial reports, the unfortunate incident took place when people were observing the Ravana effigy burning near the track. The train was coming from Pathankot.

Several people also got injured in the incident and have been rushed to the hospital for treatment.

The police are carrying out rescue operation. “There are more than 50 casualties. The injured have been rushed to the hospital and passengers are being evacuated,” police said

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he has asked all private and government hospitals to stay open to help the injured.

“Shocked to hear of tragic rail accident in Amritsar. Have asked all govt &pvt hospitals to stay open to help in this hour of grief. District authorities have been directed to take up relief and rescue operations on a war footing,” tweeted Amarinder.

ADCP Lakhbir Singh said 15 bodies have been found. The toll is likely to rise, he said.

“Shocked to hear about the tragedy on rail tracks in Amritsar, Punjab. Understand Indian Railways and local authorities are taking steps to help affected people. Heartfelt condolences to bereaved families,” tweeted President Ram Nath Kovind.

“Extremely saddened by the train accident in Amritsar. The tragedy is heart-wrenching. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required,” tweeted PM Narendra Modi.

Reacting to the tragedy on tracks, Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his grief. “Pained beyond words at the loss of precious lives due to a train tragedy during Dussehra festivities in #Punjab. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured,” tweeted Home Minister Rajnath Singh.