At least 50 killed as train runs over Dussehra revellers in Punjab

Scores of people had lined up to film the celebrations on their phones. Pic @adarshdgp

According to The Times of India, citing railway officials, they had spilled on the tracks to get a good view of a burning effigy of the demon Ravana, which is a tradition of the annual gala.

The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar. The mishap took place near the Joda Phatak in Choura Bazar area of AMritsar where locals had gathered in numbers to attend the Dussehra celebrations on Friday.

The dead include many children say the witnesses. There were reportedly around 700 people at the accident spot. He said, "The administration and the Dussehra committee are at fault, they should have raised an alarm when the train was approaching. The priority now is to take the injured to the hospital", Amritsar city police commissioner S. S. Srivastava told news agencies.

As the effigy was lit and the 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 said. "My wife is visiting the injured at the hospital".

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is on his way to Amritsar. Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria has been deputed to immediately reach Amritsar to oversee rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the tragedy is "heart-wrenching".

President Ram Nath Kovind offered condolences. "District authorities have been mobilised on war footing". Another bystander said, "The Congress had organised Dussehra celebrations here without permission". Singh himself will visit Amritsar on Saturday. He also announced Rs five lakh compensation to the kin of each of the deceased.

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