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No casualty in Motihari bus accident, confirms Bihar Disaster Management Minister

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Patna, May 4: A day after claiming that at least 27 people were killed due to fire in a bus after it overturned in Bihar’s Motihari, Bihar Disaster Management Minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav on Friday confirmed that were no casualties in the accident.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Yadav said, “The information of deaths was wrong. Yes I said 27 people have died, it was based on info from local sources, but I also said that only final report will be considered”.

“There was booking for 13 people. 8 were taken to hospital by authorities, there was no sign of remaining 5, no remains were found. They might have left the spot on their own”, he told media.

“It is a really sad incident. There is a provision to give compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of dead in such cases and it will be given”, Bihar Disaster Management and Relief Minister had told news agency ANI on Thursday.

 

National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force teams have reached the spot. Meanwhile, hospitals in Motihari and  Muzaffarpur districts put on alert.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also condoled the deaths saying  “It is a really painful incident, local administration officials are present at the spot. We will extend all possible help to the families of those who died”.

Prime Minister Office had also expressed grief.

“My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones due to a bus accident in Motihari. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest”, PMO tweeted.

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Big mistake from railway authorities: Navjot Kaur Sidhu

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Navjot Kaur Sidhu

Amritsar, Oct 19 : After a train tragedy here on Friday, Former MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu blamed the railway authorities for not issuing directions regarding movement of trains near the tracks, where about over 50 people were feared crushed by a speeding train while they were watching the ‘Ravan Dahan’.

“We burnt the Ravan effigies at six places today. Most of them were near the railway track. They (railway authorities) should have at least issued directions to slow down the speed of the train. Such a big mistake,” Sidhu told a media channel from a hospital where the injured were taken.

“Everything was well organised and there was so much police. I could not understand how this happened. Now we are being told that railway authorities did not even slow down the train and that people were standing on the tracks,” she said.

She was present at the function where effigy burning took place. She left, she said, just before the incident and got a call about the tragedy only 15 minutes after her leaving the place.

The wife of cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu also cautioned people against politicising the issue saying those who are doing it “should be ashamed”.

— IANS

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Loco-pilot informed station master at next station about terrible accident

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Amritsar Train Accidents

Amritsar, Oct 19 (IANS) Minutes after the DMU Jalandhar-Amritsar passenger train on Friday crushed over 50 people watching the burning of a Ravan eggify from a railway track, the loco pilot of the train had immediately informed the station master at the next station about the incident, officials said.

A senior railway official said that the loco pilot after sensing that the train crushed a number of people on tracks, he immediately informed the station master at Amritsar station.

The official said that the loco pilot’s version would also be recorded to ascertain the cause of the accident.

He said the train movement on the Jalandhar-Amritsar section (including Pathankot) has been suspended following the accident.

At least 50 people watching the burning of a Ravan effigy from a railway track were mowed down by a speeding train.

A large number of some 700 people were watching the huge Ravan effigy in flames amid exploding crackers while on the tracks at Joda Phatak near Dhobi Ghat within the city when the train going to Amritsar from Jalandhar came hurtling down around 7 p.m.

It took just about 10-15 seconds for the train to pass — and leave behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

Most people reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers.

Video clips posted on the social media showed some people who had apparently seen the approaching train trying to run away from the site. A few of them were also mowed down.

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Train kills at least 50 Dussehra revellers in Punjab

Witnesses said the dead included children. There were reportedly around 700 people at the accident spot.

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Amritsar Train Accident

Amritsar, Oct 19 : Amritsar, Oct 19 : In a terrible disaster, 58 people watching the burning of a Ravan effigy from a railway track were crushed to death by a speeding train here in Punjab on Friday, triggering anger in the area and nationwide outrage. Nearly 72 others were injured, many of them seriously.

A large number of some 700 people were watching the huge Ravan effigy in flames amid exploding crackers while on the tracks at Joda Phatak near Dhobi Ghat within the city when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU passenger train coming to Amritsar from Hoshiarpur came hurtling down around 7 p.m.

It took just about 10-15 seconds for the train to pass — and leave behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

Amritsar Police Commissioner S.S. Srivastava told reporters that 58 people have died and 72 have been rushed to hospitals in the city. The toll could go up, Srivastava said.

The state government has declared state mourning on Saturday and all offices and educational institutions will remain closed in view of the tragedy, an official spokesperson said, adding a probe has also been ordered.

Video clips posted on the social media showed some people who had apparently seen the approaching train trying to run away from the site. A few of them were also mowed down.

Wails and cries filled the air as people frantically looked for their near and dear ones. Severed bodies, including those of children, were lying at the accident site hours after the incident with angry people not allowing authorities to remove them.

“I have lost my child. I want him back,” an inconsolable mother was wailing at the disaster spot.

Most people reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers.

“Out of nowhere came the train,” said a man, while speaking to journalists. “Before anyone could realise what was happening, it ran over scores of people.”

“When the effigy started to burn in full flow, people began running away from it fearing it may fall over them,” said another man. “They did not realise that a speeding train was coming and the train did not sound its hooter.”

Another man felt that the tragedy would have claimed at least 100 lives. The dead included several children, another witness said.

Ironically, moments before the tragedy, another train passed the area but there were no casualties, a railway official said.

A local resident, Nirmal Jit Sindhu, alleged that the Dussehra celebrations were organised by forcing the local administration to grant permission near the railway tracks.

He said last year the administration had not granted permission for the use of this venue for Dussehra celebrations owing to its proximity to the tracks.

Some people blamed Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur, who was the Chief Guest at the celebrations, saying her late arrival delayed the burning of the effigy by more than half an hour.

Sidhu told a news channel on telephone from Bengaluru that the death toll was alarmingly high.

BJP leader and former local bodies minister Anil Joshi blamed Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur for running away from the Dussehra celebrations site soon after the train accident.

“The Dussehra celebrations were organised without the local administration permission. She (Navjot Kaur) disappeared midway during the ceremony when she was apprised about the disaster,a Joshi told reporters.

“The driver didn’t slow down the train and was watching towards the burning Ravana,” said one of the witnesseses.

Another woman was inconsolable as she said her son was missing.

“The administration and the Dussehra committee are at fault as they should have informed the railways authorities about the celebrations”, said another eyewitness.

Eyewitnesses said there were no barricading near the railway tracks and the people were forced to see the Dussehra ceremony by standing on tracks.

The effigy of Ravana was being burnt around 200 feet away from the railway track.

A railway official said in New Delhi that the drop gates at the spot were down but people still massed on the tracks in violation of railway rules.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased and cancelled his proposed Israel visit to rush to Amritsar.

“District authorities have been mobilized on war footing,” he tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences over the horrific tragedy.

“Extremely saddened by the accident in Amritsar. The tragedy is heart-wrenching… I pray that the injured recover quickly,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister announced Rs 2 lakh compensation to the families of the dead and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

Similar messages came from the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Delhi. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal cancelled all his engagements in the US and was flying back to India.

Several senior railway officials were set to fly by an Indian Air Force plane to Amritsar to help oversee the relief and rescue effort.

IANS

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