Dozens feared dead as train runs over crowd in India

Dozens were feared dead after a train ran over a crowd in Amritsar, northern India [AP Photo/Prabhjot Gill]

Dozens of people are feared killed after a train ran into a crowd in northern India, according to local media reports and a local politician.

The incident on Friday took place on the outskirts of Amritsar city, Punjab state, where a crowd had assembled near a railway track to watch a religious festival.

“There are more than 50 casualties. The priority now is to take the injured to the hospital,” Amritsar city police commissioner S. S. Srivastava told news agencies.

At least 60 people were admitted to hospital with injuries, police officials said.

Pratap Singh Bajwa, a Congress party leader in Punjab state, told the Associated Press news agency that at least 50 people were killed.

He said the crowd did not see the speeding train approaching, adding that the train did not stop after the accident.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said relief and rescue operations were ongoing at the site on a “war footing”.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet he was “extremely saddened” by the accident and that he had asked officials to provide “immediate assistance”.

Following the accident, a large number of people rushed to the site and shouted at railway officials for not taking precautions in view of the festival, AP news agency reported.

While accidents are relatively common on India’s sprawling rail network, Friday’s was among the deadliest in recent years.

In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off railroad tracks in eastern India.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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