At least twenty two people have been killed in a stampede at Elphinstone railway station’s foot-over bridge in Mumbai that took place on Friday morning. Over 30 people have been injured in the incident. Those injured were rushed to KEM hospital.
Commuters claim that the foot-over bridge at Elphinstone was narrow and is always crowded during the peak hours. In videos emerging from the incident, people can be seen trying to climb over the railings of the stairway to escape the stampede.
Western Railway PRO called this an unfortunate incident and added that the incident took place at a time when it was raining and people were not moving.
“More people were gathered at the place due to the rain which might have led to the incident. An investigation into the mishap has been ordered,” said Anil Saxena, DG Railway.
Commuters claim that on several instances in the past, people have reached out to the authorities to bring to their notice how unsafe the bridge is.
Pertinently, train operations which were initially affected have been brought back to normal. However, authorities have requested commuters to avoid the railway station for the time being.
Notably, a compensation of 5 lakh each will be given to kin of those dead. State government will bear the medical expenses of the injured, Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde said.
Calling the incident tragic, Chief Minister Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis said that an enquiry will be conducted by Maha government and Railways Ministry and necessary, strict action will be taken.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has reached Mumbai and will be visiting the spot soon. “Just landed in Mumbai. Deeply grieved at tragic loss of innocent lives due to an unfortunate stampede at Elphinstone Road foot over bridge. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured persons,” he tweeted. He also added that a high level enquiry headed by the Chief Safety Officer, Western Railways has been ordered into the mishap.
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, who visited the scene, said it was the responsibility of the Western Railway authorities to ensure commuters’ safety.
However, eyewitnesses have slammed the police for reaching late and have blamed the railway authorities for the incident.
TV footage showed commuters trying to revive the injured by pumping their chests and also carrying some down the stairs to street level.
Medical teams have urged people to come out and donate blood. There is an urgent need of A- blood, doctors have appealed.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Choudhary hit out at the government over the stampede. “Govt not able to provide basic facilities and services at stations but dreams of bullet trains,” he said.