By Ahmad Adil
NEW DELHI, India
Dozens of people are feared dead and several injured after a train ran over people in the Indian state of Punjab on Friday evening, according to police and local media.
“An exact death toll is not known but it is definitely more than 50-60. We are still evacuating people.” SS Srivastava, a senior police officer in the area, told reporters.
Officials said that a huge crowd who had gathered near the railway track in Punjab’s Amritsar district for celebrations of Dussehra, a Hindu festival, were unable to hear an approaching train due to firecrackers.
Punjab’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he was rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief and rescue following the “tragic” accident.
On Twitter, he promised compensation payouts for the victims’ families as well as free treatment to the injured at government and private hospitals.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was saddened by the accident.
“The tragedy is heart-wrenching. My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly. Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required,” he said.