At least two people died while 14 were injured, including two children and two women, following a stampede on a foot overbridge at the Santragachi railway station in West Bengal on Tuesday.
The incident reportedly occurred due to the arrival of two trains at the same time at adjacent stations. As a result, People rushed to board the trains, while many were also de-boarding it and that may have led to the stampede on the bridge.
An express train and two EMU locals arrived at the station at around 6:30 pm and the passengers rushed to board the trains, which led to such a situation, a South Eastern Railway spokesperson was quoted as saying by PTI.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the spot later to take control of things and she later blamed negligence of the Railways for the incident. “They made an announcement about the arrival of three trains — two long distance and one local train — at the same time. People rushed to catch the trains, leading to the stampede. Two people have died, one person is critical and 12 others are admitted to the hospital,” she said as reported by The Indian Express.
Two people are dead in the incident. There should be an investigation, as I feel that there has been negligence on the part of railways: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on stampede at Santragachhi junction in Howrah. pic.twitter.com/nHdRPzlKzR
— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2018
Railway is the lifeline of the country, they should be more sensitive. I have recently seen many incidents, including the one that took place in Amritsar. There is definitely negligence and callousness on part of the Railways. We will initiate an administrative inquiry into the incident,” added Banerjee.
The state government has announced a sum of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the deceased, while Rs 1 lakh has been for the critically injured.
The incident is reported to have taken place on the footbridge of platform number 2 and 3 after the arrival of the Nagercoil-Shalimar Express and two EMU locals. Two more express trains, Shalimar-Vishakhapatnam Express, and the Santragachi-Chennai Express were also scheduled to arrive in some time, CPRO of South Eastern Railway, Sanjoy Ghosh said.
“About 6 pm, there was a heavy rush of passengers at the foot overbridge due to which 14 people were injured and shifted to the health unit at Santragachi. Three people, who sustained minor injuries, were released while 11 were shifted to the Howrah General Hospital. Medical teams were also rushed to the spot when the incident occurred. We will probe the incident,” Ghosh, was quoted as saying by the daily.
The railways have also issued two helpline numbers — 033-2221072 (Kharagpur) and 03326295561 (Santragachi) for inquiries related to the stampede incident, while it also assured that a probe will be conducted on the incident.
Meanwhile, eye-witness Manjurima, who claimed to have been present among the crowd during the stampede said that one portion of the footbridge has broken down following the incident and it could have led to a bigger incident.
I was stuck in the middle of the crowd. People were abusing each other and many were lying on the floor. In fact, one portion of the bridge was also broken. This could have been a bigger incident,”
The incident was similar to the stampede incident at Mumbai’s Elphinstone station where 22 people died while rushing to board trains.