At least 50 people have died in a train accident in Amritsar today. According to initial reports, the accident took place at Joda Phatak area in the city, where Ravan effigy was burnt near the tracks. The people who were hit reportedly could not see or hear the trains due to the exploding crackers. At least 60 people have been hospitalised. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has expressed shock at the accident. He wrote on Twitter: “Shocked to hear of tragic rail accident in Amritsar. Have asked all govt & pvt hospitals to stay open to help in this hour of grief. District authorities have been directed to take up relief and rescue operations on a war footing.” The Punjab government has announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation for the families of the accident victims. The railways has issued helpline numbers, which are 0183-2223171, 0183-2564485.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Congress President Rahul Gandhi have expressed their anguish at the accident.