January 19, 2018

Railway Minister orders high-level enquiry in Mumbai stampede

01 October 2017, 10:17 | Randolph Howard

This is the horrific aftermath of a rush-hour stampede at a Mumbai railway station which has killed 27 people.

Mumbai Elphinstone Station Stampede LIVE: At least 22 dead, 30 injured

Around 2 lakh passengers from platform no. 1 at Parel and platform no. 2 at Elphinstone Road station squeeze themselves on the 30-year old FOB every day during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Western Railways, in a statement, asserted that there was overcrowding at the foot over bridge due to heavy rains and people panicked on rumours of foot over bridge collapsing.

Mumbai Police said that they have launched an ornament theft investigation after visuals went viral on social media showcasing unidentified persons stealing jewelry from the dead body of one of the Elphinstone Road stampede victims. Chaos prevailed as people surged forward to leave the bridge.

Hundreds of Shiv Sena activists shouted slogans against Goyal and Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde near the KEM Hospital when the two leaders reached there.

Thirty-nine people were hospitalized, he added.

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Indian broadcasters showed images of some people leaping over the railing to escape the crush, while others were crushed in the melee or fell underfoot and were trampled.

Aaditya, a teenager, who also lives in the same building as Mishra, and was also a witness to the tragedy, said, "At first, I thought it was usual crowd".

"We were falling on each other, some people stomping over others. A case under section 304 (II) of the IPC for culpable homicide needs to be registered against the railway officials concerned", the petition said. These two stations are used by most of Mumbai's local train commuters as there are large number of offices in the area. The narrow bridge connecting them dates back to the British colonial era. The delay of yard remodeling plan of Parel station led to the freezing of the construction of this new bridge.

The tragedy has again put the spotlight on the country's ageing railway infrastructure.

"The concerned GM was not even supposed to get approval of railway board of detailed estimates for this project", a railway official told the Times of India.

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