At least 22 were killed, and dozens injured after a stampede ensued on a foot-over bridge during the early morning rush at Elphinstone Road station on Friday. The tragedy took place amid rain in the city around 10.40 am when the foot-over bridge was heavily crowded, a police official said. Police suspect a short-circuit with a loud sound near the foot-over bridge led to panic and people started running, resulting in the stampede. Officials of the railway, police and fire brigade are at the site to carry out rescue operations.
Short circuit rumour led to tragedy
Speaking to Firstpost, survivors recounted their horrors. Miitesh Jethva, a regular commuter told Firstpost that sudden rains caught commuters by surprise which triggered panic at the foot-over bridge. "There is usually a huge rush at the station everyday, but because of the rains people wanted shelter and there was a sudden huge rush at the bridge. In no time, People soon started falling over each other like dominoes. The incident happened at 10.45 am."
Another eyewitness, Ajay Ghate, said that the chaos at the foot-over bridge started due to rumours of short circuit then later that the bridge had collapsed.
"People panicked and in the rush to get off the bridge, caused heavy casualties. People were stranded on northern side of the Elphinstone bridge and the staircase towards the Dadar end due to sudden gush of heavy rains. As the crowd on the bridge showed no signs of dissipating, people started breaking the galvanised sheets along the bridge and threw several of the injured people down the bridge so that they don't suffocate and die," Ghate said.
According to Ghate, who was on the bridge, atleast 7-8 people died on the spot. There were just 2-3 RPF staff to help the injured people at the time of stampede. Police officials came to the spot almost 45 minutes after the incident.
Injured and dead at KEM Hospital
3/3 Senior Railway officers have reached Elphisten Road station FOB to monitor relief work @drmbct
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) September 29, 2017
At least 20 to 25 people are seriously injured among dozens who were hurt, Firstpost reported.
— Chirag Joshi (@chiragmjoshi) September 29, 2017
Out of the dozens injured, at least 6 to 7 people have sustained serious fractures. Four of those injured have been shifted to the KEM Hospital. a Disaster Management official told Firstpost. Western Railway confirmed that all the dead as well as the injured have been admitted to Parel's KEM Hospital.
The road going towards the bridge linking Parel and Elphinstone Road closed for now
Railway minister to arrive shortly
Sources told Firstpost, Railway minister Piyush Goyal arrived at KEM Hospital, where all the injured are being treated. Speaking to CNN-News18, Mumbai mayor Vishesh Marudeshwar said that the BMC will make sure that there will be no such incidents in the future.
While Marudeshwar has promised action, commuters, who survived Friday's stampede, were angry at the shoddy condition of stations and foot-over bridges in the city. In a city, where local trains are the lifeline for daily commuters, how can the government be so lackadaisical, asked angry commuters. Many even raised slogans like "Piyush Goyal haye haye" against Goyal.
Have ordered a high level enquiry headed by the Chief Safety Officer, Western Railways: Piyush Goyal,Railway Minister
— ANI (@ANI) September 29, 2017
Modi, Fadnavis and Kovind tweet condolences Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and President of India Ramnath Kovind tweeted their condolences.
My deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to the stampede in Mumbai. Prayers with those who are injured. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 29, 2017
Situation in Mumbai is being continuously monitored. @PiyushGoyal is in Mumbai taking stock of the situation & ensuring all assistance.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 29, 2017
Fadnavis also announced a ex-gratia of Rs five for the kin of all deceased and also announced that the medical expenses of all injured will be borne by the government.
₹5 lakh announced for the next of the kins of deceased and all the medical expenses of the injured will be borne by GoM.#Elphinstone
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) September 29, 2017
This is a very sad day and the accident that happened at the Elphinstone Road Station is extremely worrisome. I have ordered a high-level enquiry into the matter," Goyal told media gathered outside the Mumbai International airport on Friday.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 29, 2017 15:58 PM