Anger brews in Amritsar after train tragedy


"The Railways was not informed about the Dusshera ceremony near the Joda Phatak vicinity either by the area administration or the event organisers", he said.

Some witnesses said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the festival site. One security personnel was injured after protesters pelted stones on police when being asked to clear railway tracks where they were protesting against the train accident.

In just 10-15 seconds it left behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

The Government Railway Police on Saturday registered a case against unknown persons in connection with the accident.

Numerous victims were either on the railway tracks or near them and did not hear the commuter train coming in the noise of the crackers and giant effigies burning in the darkness, witnesses and officials said.

"At midsections, trains run at their assigned speed and people are not expected to be on the tracks".

"Action will be taken against those responsible for the tragedy once the inquiry report comes", he said.

A couple of days after the doomed Dussehra event at Amritsar, the police have obtained CCTV footage of the event's organiser who can be seen leaving the place soon after the tragedy hit several people present at Jaura Phatak. In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off tracks in eastern India. They cordoned off the area and directed residents to not come out of their houses near the railway track. It will take time to identify more bodies as they have been cut into pieces by the metal wheels of the fast-moving train, they said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have also promised all possible assistance.

The railway accident was India's worst in years, but the junior minister who manages Indian Railways, the world's fourth largest rail system, refused to accept responsibility. The railway crossing gates were closed and the crossing was manned.

Mr Sidhu's remarks are significant as Punjab BJP in a statement has slammed the Congress government over the train mishap and asked how celebrations were allowed near the railway tracks. In November 2016, the Patna-Indore express derailed in Uttar Pradesh state in the middle of the night, killing 139 people.

The Punjab government has declared state mourning on Saturday and a probe has been ordered.

The minister, who is now in the U.S., has cancelled all his engagements there and is immediately returning to India.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told reporters on Saturday that 59 people had died, with 57 injured in the accident, and that an official inquiry will be carried out over the next four weeks.

He also cancelled his proposed Israel visit in the aftermath of the disaster.