MUMBAI – A stampede on an overcrowded Mumbai railway bridge lashed by a monsoon storm killed at the very least 27 folks Friday and raised new security questions on one of many world’s largest rail networks.
Some had been crushed to dying, some suffocated and others simply fell from the bridge, witnesses mentioned. Sneakers, slippers and luggage had been left strewn over the steps of the bridge after our bodies had been cleared.
Tons of of individuals took shelter on the bridge from a sudden downpour and the lethal crush began as they emerged, an Indian Railways spokesman mentioned.
Seventy-eight-year-old newspaper vendor Dadanand Parab advised how victims tumbled over the facet of the bridge onto his stall. “They had been breathless and shocked and I attempted to assist by giving them water however there have been simply so many individuals,” Parab, who has bought newspapers on the station since 1975, advised AFP.
“It was a nightmare state of affairs. I noticed many ladies and men simply collapsing as a consequence of overcrowding and suffocation.”
Indian Railways spokesman Ravindra Bhakar mentioned greater than 400 passengers took shelter from heavy rains on the footbridge. “Individuals on the entrance slipped and the massive crowd toppled over resulting in the stampede,” Bhakar advised AFP. He mentioned 14 males and eight girls had been killed and one other 36 folks injured.
A hospital official mentioned at the very least six folks had been in crucial situation as a consequence of inner accidents and asphyxiation.
“Some had head accidents however most had indicators of inner organs being broken by strain,” mentioned Avinash Supe, dean of the Mumbai’s KEM hospital. Trains had been briefly halted and a proper inquiry was began into the tragedy as authorities introduced compensation of about $7,500 for the household of every sufferer.
The stampede broke out at 10:30 am close to a ticket window on the bridge that connects the Elphinstone – just lately renamed Prabhadevi – and Parel stations in central Mumbai.
TV footage confirmed commuters attempting to revive the injured by pumping their chests and carrying some down stairs to avenue stage.
Native resident Dhanashree Dhananjay Dagare, who lives reverse the bridge, mentioned he noticed commuters pushing ahead in the direction of a slim exit on the bridge.
“Many individuals fell over with their garments ripped off,” Dagare mentioned.
The stampede is the newest catastrophe to hit Indian Railways – the world’s fourth largest community – which is struggling to improve infrastructure and security after a collection of lethal crashes in recent times. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet expressed sympathies with the households of these killed and guaranteed all doable help.
Final month, 23 folks had been killed after a prepare derailed in a northern metropolis. Practically 150 died in November in a crash.
Shiv Sena, Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Social gathering alliance associate in western Maharashtra state which incorporates Mumbai – known as the tragedy a “public bloodbath” and slammed the federal government for investing in bullet trains as an alternative of the crumbling railway system.
Final month Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched India’s first excessive velocity rail mission, which is funded by the Japan.
A collection of accidents on the rail community compelled Modi final month to exchange the railway minister. He has pledged to take a position billions of to make railways safer.
Practically $eight billion has been promised to improve the suburban trains in Mumbai which can be a lifeline for metropolis’s 20 million folks.
Some 7.5 million passengers commute in practically 2,500 trains day by day however lots of die yearly as a consequence of dropping their grip on the doorways, falling whereas attempting to get into packed compartments and hitting electrical poles outdoors.
Official figures say some three,400 folks died in 2016 both from falling off the trains or whereas crossing the tracks of what’s the world’s most overcrowded suburban rail community.