Amritsar accident: 7 of the injured in critical conditions

Amritsar: Seven of the 70-odd people injured in a train accident near here were in critical conditions, officials said today.

At least 61 people were killed Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak here.

The injured were admitted to different hospitals in Amritsar. “Among the injured, the conditions of seven persons continue to remain critical,” an official said.

According to the officials, many of the deceased were yet to be identified. A forensic science team has reached the site, they said.

The Punjab government has ordered a probe into the incident. The incident took place on Friday evening when at least 300 people were watching the ‘Ravana dahan‘ at a ground adjacent to the tracks.

As the effigy was lit and fireworks went off, a section of the crowd started retreating towards the tracks where a large number of people were already standing to watch the event, officials had said.

A video of the tragic incident showed that several people were run over by a train when they were watching the burning of an effigy of demon king Ravana, as part of the Dussehra celebrations.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has postponed his Israel trip, will reach Amritsar this morning to assess the situation and meet the families of the victims, officials said.

All offices and educational institutions will remain closed today in view of the tragedy. Friday night, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, along with Punjab BJP chief Shwait Malik, visited the site to take stock of the situation, officials said.