Dasara disaster not our fault: Rlys.

Such events should not be organised close to tracks, says Manoj Sinha; Punjab CM orders probe The Railways on Saturday denied any negligence on its part in Friday’s tragedy when a train mowed down 59 Dasara revellers at Joda Phatak near Amritsar, even as Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry. A crowd watching the burning of a Ravan effigy spilled on to the railway tracks and was hit by a train coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar. Seventy two persons were injured. Precautions needed “The incident was not the Railways’ fault. People should refrain from organising such events near tracks in future. I think if precautions had been taken, the accident could have been averted,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said. Mr. Sinha said no action was being taken against the driver. “There was a curve. The driver couldn’t have seen the crowd,” he added. “People trespassed on to the railway track to see the Dasara celebrations… they could not hear the repeated train engine whistles due to the sound of the [fire] crackers, which resulted in this unfortunate incident,” Deepak Kumar, spokesperson of the Northern Railways said in a press release. Mr. Kumar said the manned level crossing, 340 metres ahead of the accident site, was closed for road traffic. “…there was about a 2.5 metre-high track wall between the railway track and the Ravan effigy burning site,” he said. No communication on the event was given to the Railways, he said, and as the site did not belong to it, no permission was sought for using it.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/dasara-disaster-not-our-fault-rlys/article25276554.ece

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