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Train kills at least 60 people watching fireworks in India during festival

Train kills at least 60 people watching fireworks in India during festival”

Days after 60 people were crushed to death by a DMU train during Dussehra celebration in Amritsar, the organiser of the Amritsar Ramleela and Ravana effigy burning ceremony was caught fleeing on the camera.

Data from Parliament in July showed that 49,790 people were killed by trains on India's tracks between 2015 and a year ago.

He said he was at the Delhi airport, ready to leave for Tel Aviv, when he heard of the incident and rushed back after postponing his Israel visit. The Punjab government should give resignation without delay on moral grounds.

"The protesters blocking the tracks were removed and train services resumed this afternoon, 40 hours after the Friday's horrific accident", a railway spokesperson said. "But the second train that was entering Amritsar came without any horn and was hurtling down", he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his condolences.

The incident took place Friday evening at 6:45 p.m. local time at Jaura Phatak in Amritsar, the Sikh holy city of Punjab.

In a letter that has been leaked, it is indicated that the organizers, the family of a local Congress councillor has sought security arrangements at the venue where Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu and his ex-MLA wife were expected.

Lohani on Saturday also dismissed the railways' responsibility in the tragedy. The locals had started protesting Saturday, raising slogans against the state government and demanding action against the train's driver, a day after the accident here. People reportedly moved to the railway tracks because it was elevated and they could get a better view of the show.

A case under attempt to murder has been registered against 50 unidentified people.

"I've been seeing this event every Dusshera from here and this has never happened before, the railways should have stopped or slowed down the train", said Deep Kumari, who watched the festival from the terrace of her house. In the CCTV footage, Sourabh Madan Mithu, the person who organised the whole event can be seen escaping in an SUV.

Although Dussehra celebrations were not held on this plot last year, it has been used to celebrate Dussehra for nearly 10 years, said Jeet Singh Bhatia, a corporator whose ward is located next to the ground.

Almost 150 people, most of who were watching the burning of effigies or were recording the event on their mobile phones, were mowed down by the train.

But Kaur, whose husband, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, is a former Indian Test cricketer and now a state minister, said effigies were burned at six places in Amritsar and majority were in fields near the tracks.

There could have been a bigger tragedy if the driver had applied emergency brakes, he added.



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