Amritsar train accident updates: Punjab CM orders magisterial inquiry

Amritsar train accident LIVE updates: The speeding train ran over people watching the burning of Ravana effigy on the occasion of the Dussehra celebrations at the Dhobi Ghat ground which is said to be barely 2 km from the Amritsar station.

Amritsar train accident LIVE updates: 50 feared dead as speeding train runs over Dussehra crowd
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 21 Oct 2018 12:41 PM
Amritsar train accident:  Punjab CM Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the tragic train accident in which at least 59 people were crushed to death. The inquiry has been launched under the supervision of the divisional commissioner who will submit a report in four weeks. The chief minister postponed a trip to Israel and arrived here this morning to take a stock of the situation. Singh said this was not the time for blame game. “It’s a tragedy and we are in grief." His along with Amrisar (East) MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu visited injured victims in the hospital where they were being treated. Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur was the chief guest at the fateful event. Kaur, who is being accused of not helping the victims at the accident site, claimed she had left the site much before the mishap took place. The horrific train accident accident occured on Friday evening, when close to 1,000 people watching a huge Ravana effigy burn up where mowed up by a speeding Jalandhar-Amritsar Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train that was heading to Hoshiarpur from Amritsar at around 7 pm. The Punjab and Railway Police on Saturday questioned the driver of the train but he is not being seen at fault by the Northern Railway. Railways, organizers of the event and civic officials are distancing themselves from taking responsibility of the massive accident. PM Narendra Modi, President Ramnath Kovind, Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, India's cricket skipper Virat Kohli and Bollywood actors condoled the loss of precious lives.

Amritsar Train Accident: Track here for LIVE updates

  • Artists dressed as Ram, Hanuman, Sita and Laxman take part in a candle light march organised in Chandigarh to pay tribute to the victims of #AmritsarTrainAccident that claimed 59 lives, reported ANI.

My prayers are with the families of those affected by the terrible train accident in Amritsar yesterday.

— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 20, 2018

  • CM also said "We will try that postmortem of the bodies are done as soon as possible. We have identified most of the bodies except 9."

  • During a press conference, CM announced that a magisterial inquiry was ordered into the incident under the police commissioner who will submit a report in 4 weeks.

  • Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh reaches Civil Hospital in Amritsar where injured have been admitted.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to India on a train accident. He said "I offer my deepest sympathies over tragic consequences of an accident on railways in the Punjab state. I ask to convey my words of sympathy and support to families and friends of the killed people and to wish the soonest recovery to those injured."

  • Pakistan PM tweets 'Saddened to learn of the tragic train accident in Amritsar India. Condolences go to the families of the deceased.'

  • The organizer of the Ramleela event, Saurabh ‘Mithu’ Madan who is said to be the son of ward number 29 councillor Vijay Madan and is general secretary of Youth Congress, has gone missing. When ABP news correspondent reached his residence in Amritsar, it was locked. It is said that permission for the Dussehra event was not taken from authorities.

  • It is said that Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is on his way from New Delhi to visit those injured in the incident.

  • Thirty-nine of those killed in Amritsar train accident identified so far; the injured admitted to seven hospitals.

  • Dalbir Singh, who played the role of Ravan in a Ramlila in the city during Dussehra celebrations, killed in Amritsar Train Accident.

  • Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has not reached the spot after 15 hours of the accident.

  • Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu expresses condolences saying "Shocked and saddened by the train accident in Amritsar. Express my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured."

  • It is reported that Navjot Singh's had reached late for the Dussehra celebration due to which the function was postponed.

  •  fter the accident, the railways have decided to cancel some trains and change the route of others. Train no 12460 12054 12053 14506 14505 14633 12412 12411 12242 12241 has cancelled while Route Diverted for 12716, 12926, 15708,11058.

  •  While talking to ABP News, 10-year old Vishal’s father said that they had gone to watch the burning of Ravana effigy on the occasion of the Dussehra. Due to the noise of the crackers, they were not able to hear the incoming train and Vishal got injured in the head during it.

  • Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu reaches hospital to meet victim’s family. He said "It was a sad and an unfortunate incident. It is necessary to understand that it was an accident. There has been negligence but it was never intentional or motivated."

  • Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reaches the accident site.

  • Media Advisor to Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh informed that CM Amarinder wanted to rush to Amritsar on Friday itself but had to change plan after district administration advised it could divert attention from relief & rescue efforts in wake of train accident.

11: 40 PM: According to news agency ANI, Union Health Ministry Secretary Preeti Sudan has spoken to Punjab Principal Health Secretary Satish Chandra. He is proceeding to Amritsar. Health Minister has asked PGI Chandigarh to remain on alert.

NOTE | Northern Railways issues helpline numbers at New Delhi railway station for Amritsar accident.
01123342954, 01123341074, 01142622280 & 1072- 4 lines, Railway no. 22280.

11: 35 PM: According to reports, the loco pilot of the train had immediately informed the station master at the next station about the incident. The loco pilot's version would be recorded to ascertain the cause of the accident, said a senior Railway officer.

Watch Video

11: 30 PM: "I visited the accident site. Everyone present there including those who lost their family members complained against Navjot Kaur Sidhu and Councillor of the area. They all felt that the incident wouldn't have occurred if all precautions were taken," said SAD's BS Majithia.

11: 25 PM: Leader of Opposition in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav expressed his condolences over the train accident in Amritsar. “Deeply saddened to hear about horrific train accident in Amritsar. My heart goes out to bereaved families. Heartfelt condolences and prayers,” he said in a tweet.

11: 20 PM: Reportedly all train movements on all nearby tracks have been stopped after the accident took place as locals are sitting on the tracks and protesting. All services on Jalandhar-Amritsar route remained suspended hours after the horrific incident.

11: 15 PM: When questioned on his decision to visit the accident spot tomorrow, Capt Amarinder Singh said that he wanted to rush to spot today but had to change his plans after district administration advised that it could divert attention from relief and rescue efforts in wake of the train accident.

11: 10 PM: Amritsar Police Commissioner has recently informed that around 58 people have died so far.

11: 05 PM: The chief minister of Punjab, who was scheduled to leave for Israel this evening, has postponed his trip and will fly to Amritsar in the morning to personally supervise relief operations and meet families of the victims of the incident, an official statement said.

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11: 05 PM: Approximately more than 60 injured people including children have received medical treatment till now. Most people have suffered orthopedic injuries, abrasions, head trauma and eye injuries, said Dr Sandeep, Emergency Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Amritsar.

10: 55 PM: MP from Amritsar, Gurjeet Singh Aujla who is present at Civil Hospital, told ANI, "probe will be conducted into the incident, action will be taken against those found guilty, even if it is Navjot Kaur Sidhu."

Watch visuals from the hospital where the injured are being treated

10: 50 PM: Watch visual of Punjab Police personnel carry a body of a reveller who was killed in a train accident as he was participating in the Hindu festival of Dussehra, in Amritsar today.

(Image: AFP)

10: 45 PM: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter and expressed grief over the incident. "Extremely sad news coming about a major train accident near Amritsar I appeal to all our volunteers in the area to help authorities in the relief work and provide whatever help we can in this moment of crisis," he tweeted.

10: 40 PM: State mourning has been declared in Punjab tomorrow and all offices and educational institutions will remain closed, in the view of Amritsar train accident.

10: 35 PM: Watch visuals of Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Punjab police personnel present at the site of the accident.

10: 30 PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs for the family of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured in Amritsar train accident, reported ANI.

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10: 25 PM: Speaking to reporters at the incident site, MoS Railways Manoj Sinha on Amritsar train accident said, "Medical teams are rushing to the spot. I am also leaving for the site of the accident. As per initial information, people present near the railway track couldn't hear the sound of the approaching train due bursting crackers."

10: 15 PM: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered an inquiry into the train accident in Amritsar which has claimed 50 lives and has left 30-35 people injured, reported ANI.

10: 10 PM: Public Relations department, Punjab Government has said that people who want to donate blood should arrive at the Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar.

10: 05 PM: ABP News has learnt that the Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has cancelled all engagements in the US and is immediately returning to India.

Watch Video

10: 00 PM: Announcing immediate relief to the bereaved families, Punjab CM told news agency ANI that the government will give Rs 5 lakh to kin of each deceased and free treatment to injured in government and private hospitals. "District authorities have been mobilised on war footing," he said.

9: 55 PM: Speaking to news agency ANI, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "An unfortunate tragedy has taken place place. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their lives and injured in this incident which from the initial reports appears to be a tragedy that could have been avoided."

NOTE | Indian Railways issues helpline numbers for Amritsar accident:

Helpline telephone numbers at Manawala station- Rly -73325, BSNL - 0183-2440024; Power Cabin ASR-Rly - 72820, BSNL - 0183-2402927; Vijay Sahota, SSE: 7986897301 and Vijay Patel, SSE: 7973657316

9: 50 PM: Rubbishing reports of passing of two trains at the incident CPRO, Northern Railways has said that operations in-charge at the accident site in Amritsar has informed that only one train was passing from the area. The department has also issued helpline numbers.

9: 45 PM: "I am pained beyond words to learn about the tragic train accident in Amritsar. I have spoken to the local BJP unit and asked our karyakartas to join the rescue operation. My deepest condolences with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray for early recovery of those injured," tweets Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah.

9: 40 PM: President Ram Nath Kovind has also shared his grief on the tragic Amritsar train mishap and shared condolences to bereaved families.

9: 35 PM: Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and shared condolence over the incident. "The train accident in Punjab in which over 50 people have died is shocking. I urge the state government & Congress workers to provide immediate relief at the accident site. My condolences to the families of those who have died. I pray that the injured make a speedy recovery," he tweeted.

9: 30 PM: Check the visuals shared by ANI from Civil Hospital in Amritsar where those injured in the train accident are being brought for treatment.

9: 25 PM: Locals have informed that even LED screens were placed near the tracks. People are blaming the local administration and organisers for this tragic mishap.

09: 20 pm: Refuting reports that she was present at the event when the incident took place, Navjot Kaur Sidhu told ANI, "The effigy of Ravan was burnt and I had just left the site when the incident happened. Priority is to get the injured treated. Dussehra celebrations are held there every year. People who are doing politics over this incident should be ashamed."

Watch Video:

09: 15 PM: Speaking to news agency ANI, ADG PR, Indian Railways said, "It is an unfortunate accident. We don't have any confirmation on the numbers who have been impacted by the incident. Accident relief train has reached the site. Minister of State for Railways is also rushing to the spot."

09: 10 PM: Speaking about the incident, Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal said he is shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic train incident that occurred in Amritsar. "My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. I pray for the injured to recover quickly. Railways is conducting immediate relief and rescue operations," he tweeted.

09: 05 PM: People are still being evacuated from the accident spot. Exact figure is not known but definitely more than 50-60 dead. We are still evacuating people, Amritsar Police Commissioner SS Srivastava was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

09: 00 PM: People also claim that it was partially fault of the railway authorities. They said that proper security arrangements should have been made to prevent it from occurring.

Watch video of the tragic Amritsar train accident

8: 55 PM: Speaking to ABP News, an eyewitness said that Navjot Kaur Sidhu (wife of Navjot Singh Sidhu) was invited as a guest but she left the place in her car when the incident happened. She was giving a speech when mishap took place, he said.

08: 53 PM: Eyewitness at the Amritsar accident site says, "Congress had organised Dussehra celebrations here without permission. Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife was the chief guest at the celebrations and she continued to give a speech as people were struck down by the train," reported ANI.

08: 50 PM: Speaking to ANI, Police Commissioner SS Srivastava says, "Exact death toll is not known but it is definitely more than 50-60. We are still evacuating people." Watch video:

08: 45 PM: Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and expressed his grief about the tragic mishap. "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," he tweeted.

08: 40 PM: Responding to the mishap in Amaritsar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured all possible assistance to the state in this hour of grief.

08: 35 PM: Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh took to Twitter and expressed his grief on the tragic mishap. "Rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief & rescue in tragic rail accident on Dussehra in Amritsar. My govt will give Rs 5 lakh to kin of each deceased & free treatment to injured in govt & pvt hospitals. District authorities have been mobilised on war footing," he tweeted.

08: 32 PM: In the wake of the tragic rail accident, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has directed Home Secretary, Health Secretary and ADGP Law and Order to immediately rush to Amritsar.  The CM would fly to Amritsar tomorrow to access the situation first hand.

08: 30 PM: Another eyewitness said, "The administration and the Dussehra committee are at fault, they should have raised an alarm when the train was approaching, they should have made sure that the train halts or slows down."

Watch Video

08:  25 PM: Speaking to news agency ANI, Police said, "There are more than 50 casualties. We are evacuating people, injured taken to the hospital", on accident in which several are feared dead in Choura Bazar near Amritsar.

08: 20 PM: The angry mob has started to protest because according to them Navjot Singh Sidhu along with her wife who were present on the stage when the mishap took place, left the place as soon as possible in their car.

08: 15 PM: An eye-witness speaking to ABP News has said the death toll could cross 200. Another eyewitness said, a train travelling at a fast speed ran over several people during Dussehra celebrations, in Choura Bazar near Amritsar.

08: 10 PM: The train is said to be 74943 DMU and the accident happened near Gate 27 C, which was closed. Soon as the incident came into light, local railway officers rushed at site. Officers of Ferozpur Division are too available at the site. Police have informed that the injured people have been taken to hospitals on an urgent basis.

8: 00 PM: As per the latest update, fire brigade and local administration are rushing to the spot and a rescue operation is underway. All the dead bodies have been removed from the track. People present their claim that the toll is expected to rise over 200. There were around 500-700 people at the spot.