Amritsar: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and state Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu meet an accident victim at Civil Hospital after a local train crushed at least 60 people and left 72 injured while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy from a railway track last night; in Amritsar on Oct 20, 2018.
Angry relatives of the scores of people who were killed in India when they were run over by a speeding train staged protests Saturday while one of the country's railway officials maintains the railway is not responsible for the tragic accident.
Amarinder Singh, the chief minister of Punjab, the state where the accident took place, announced compensation of 500,000 Indian rupees ($6,815) for those who lost family members and free treatment for those injured in the accident.
It said the Congress government has instituted a "tailor made inquiry" and was trying to put the blame "squarely on the Railways". Police said they were still looking to ascertain the number of dead as some bodies were mangled beyond recognition.
Amritsar: Expressing grief over the Amritsar train tragedy, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that Railways is conducting immediate relief and rescue operations.
The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was travelling at 55mph when it reached the scene of the tragedy in Amritsar.
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A almost 700 strong crowd watching a huge Ravana effigy go up in flames amid crackers bursts spilled on to the tracks when the Jalandhar-Amritsar Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train heading to Hoshiarpur from Amritsar came hurtling. Madaan had widely advertised the event organised by the Dussehra Committee (East) with pictures of Sidhu and his wife on the posters. "The place where the accident happened was basically mid-section between two stations - Mananwala and Amritsar and not at a level crossing".
The Government Railway Police on Saturday registered a case against unknown persons in connection with the accident. "I called the commissioner and I asked him whether I should come back, he said no there's too much chaos here", she told ANI from the hospital where the injured are being treated.
On Saturday, crowds squatted on the tracks, which had been cleared of the bodies and body parts by morning, and chanted slogans against the state's Congress government.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his condolences.
Organisers had set up a huge LED screen for spectators, and as the fireworks started, the crowd moved backward for a better view.
The Railways was not informed about the Dusshera ceremony near the Jora Phatak vicinity either by the area administration or the event organisers, he added.