India’s railway officials and local community leaders traded blame on Saturday over an accident in which a train ran over scores of people gathered on the railway tracks for a festival in Amritsar.
Punjab state’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told reporters on Saturday that 59 people had died with 57 injured in the accident and that an official inquiry would be carried out over the next four weeks.
A large crowd had formed near the tracks on the city’s fringe for the burning of effigies as part of a major Hindu festival on Friday when the train sped through the gathering in darkness, officials and witnesses said.
Grieving relatives and residents, some of whom were still scouring the bloodied fields for belongings of their loved ones, said there was no warning from the train as it rolled down the tracks just as firecrackers exploded in the sky in the annual Dussehra festival. (Reuters)