Amritsar, Oct 19: In a shocking disaster, at least 50 people watching the burning of Ravan effigy were mowed down by a train here in Punjab on Friday, police said. A large number of people were watching the Ravan effigy in flames while standing along the railway tracks when the train crushed them. They reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers.
Witnesses said the dead included children. There were reportedly around 700 people at the accident spot.
"There are more than 50 casualties. We are evacuating people... injured taken to the hospital," ANI quoted Punjab Police as saying.
Wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was chief guest at the function.Eyewitness said that the Pathankot-Amritsar EMU was running at high speed and body parts of several victims were seen strewn all over the accident site.
The question arises why permission was granted for Ravan Dahan near a railway track and when everybody knew about the function why the Railways had no clue about the function and issued directions for slowing of trains on the track. Another question is that why no red signal was shown to the train. News24 Bureau