22 killed in stampede at Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai

Last Updated : 29 September 2017, 15:04 IST
Last Updated : 29 September 2017, 15:04 IST
Last Updated : 29 September 2017, 15:04 IST
Last Updated : 29 September 2017, 15:04 IST

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At least 22 persons were killed and 39 others were injured following a stampede in the narrow foot-over bridge connecting the Parel and Elphinstone Road stations of Mumbai’s suburban railway network on Friday.

The incident comes during the Navratri festivities and on the eve of Dassera.

Five of the 34 injured, who were admitted to the King Edward Memorial Hospital, is said to be critical.

The deceased include 14 males and 8 females.

The stampede on the Elphinstone Road station – which has been renamed Prabhadevi station – took place around 1030 hrs during the morning peak hours.

What exactly triggered the stampede is not yet known, however, there seem to be multiple issues.

Firstly, there were sudden rains which led to some water accumulation and since people avoided open area, and took the FOB. Secondly, two or three trains passed by and the crowd swelled in the station and took the FOB. Thirdly, there were two rumours - about a short-circuit and then of the bridge caving in.

There was complete chaos and people were gasping for breath. Most of the victims suffered fractures and wounds.

The bridge was 77 inches wide and funds were apparently sanctioned for its upgradation, however, it was not being undertaken.

A total ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh has been sanctioned to the next of kin of the deceased  - Rs five lakh by Ministry of Railways and another Rs five lakh by the Government of Maharashtra.

The government has also decided to bear the medical expenses of the injured persons.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal announced a high-level probe by the chief safety officer of the Western Railway.

He also announced a safety audit and capacity audit of all the 136 suburban stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was on an official tour to Singapore, said that those who are responsible for the incident would not be spared.

In a sharp reaction, the Shiv Sena demanded the resignation of Goyal.

The commuters also demanded that the infrastructure was crumbling and the government needs to concentrate more on the suburban network.

The Elphinstone Stone is one of the busiest stations in Mumbai as it is connected to several small business centres.

“It is a very unfortunate incident,” said Mumbai mayor Prof Vishwanath Mahadeshwar after visiting the Parel railway station.

So far 22 persons have died, the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said quoting  Dr Pravin Bangar, the senior medical officer of KEM Hospital.

Top officials of the Western Railway, Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) have rushed to the spot to carry out investigations and rescue and relief work.

What triggered the stampede is not yet known, however, this morning Mumbai suddenly received heavy rains. There was also water accumulation at the exit of the FOB and it was difficult for people to go out.

“Since there were rains lot of people took the foot-over bridge and it was completely packed,” said an eye-witness, who stays in the nearby area.

Smartphone footage of the bridge showed that the bridge was packed with people and even some were seen clinging down of the railings and jumped down to safety.

The injured persons received fracture injuries, doctors in the hospital said.

“The bridge has not collapsed,” said additional division fire officer S Rane said.
Satement of Western Railway:

Published 29 September 2017, 06:22 IST

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