WORLD


Death toll rises to 61 in India train disaster

Baku, October 20, AZERTAC

At least 61 people were killed and over 70 others injured in northern Indian state of Punjab after a train ran into a crowd watching festivities of a Hindu festival on the railway tracks, according to Xinhua.

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

Eyewitnesses and officials said the crowd had gathered to watch the celebrations of a Hindu festival Dussehra when a train ran over hundreds of them standing on a railway track.

Dussehra is a Hindu festival marking the triumph of good over evil. Effigies are burnt and fireworks are set off as part of the festival in north India.

Eyewitnesses said many on the tracks were busy filming the festivities on their phones, and did not notice the train approaching at high speed.

The local government has describing the incident as tragic and ordered an inquiry into the accident.

Officials said the state has decided to observe a mourning on Saturday in wake of the incident.

Following the accident authorities rushed police and disaster management teams to the spot to carry out rescue work.

Reports said around 700 people were witnessing the effigy burning and over 300 were on the tracks.

The train that hit the crowds was travelling from Jalandhar to Amritsar city.

The local government has announced a relief of around 6,807 U.S. dollars to family of each deceased and announced free medical treatment to the injured in hospitals.

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