In the Amritsar train tragedy that took place on the night of Dusshera in which 61 people died, the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) has given a clean chit to the railways.
The inquiry conducted by the CCRS put the onus of the tragedy on the people who had collected there, saying, “the reason for the accident is negligence of persons reportedly standing on and near the railway tracks witnessing Dusshera Mela at Dhobi Ghat.
In its inquiry report, the CCRS also recommended that “prior intimation to railway administration should be given by the district administration/organizers to hold big events like mela/rally so that railway can take proper precautions in consultation with stakeholders,” ANI quoted sources as saying.
The unfortunate incident had taken place on October 19 at the Joda Phatak area of Amritsar, where a crowd of nearly 1,000 people had collected to watch the fireworks. As the Ravana effigy was set alight, the organisers of the mela had asked the people gathered there to move back.
The crowd had spilled over to the railway tracks. Amid the shadow of the flame, the noise from the crackers and general bustle, no one saw or heard the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU train approaching. The train which was travelling at a considerable speed had ploughed through the people collected there leaving 61 people dead and 143 injured.
Eyewitnesses had said that minutes before the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU, the Amritsar-Howrah train had crossed the spot. Had the two trains crossed at the same time, casualties could have been far higher.