22 killed in stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone station

At least 22 people died and more than 30 were seriously injured on Friday in a stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone railway station.

The injured have been admitted to KEM Hospital and other nearby hospitals.

IMAGE: A stampede victim is carried on a stretcher at a hospital in Mumbai. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
A National Disaster Response Force team has also reached the accident site.

S Jaykumar, additional commissioner of police (Central Region), Mumbai informed that overcrowding at the station lead to stampede.

IMAGE: Policemen inspect the site of the stampede in Mumbai. Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

He further said, “Twenty-two bodies have been recovered so far, and 30 people are injured.”

The stampede reportedly occurred around 10.45 am on a footover bridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations.

Niket Kaushik, Government Railway Police Commissioner, informed that the exact reasons for the accident are still to be inquired into.

IMAGE: A stampede victim is carried on a stretcher at a hospital in Mumbai. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
Western Railway Public Relations Officer Anil Saxena, however, said that chaos was created as a pedestrian slipped after heavy rainfall on the footover bridge and added that a probe order has been issued by the railway ministry to look into the cause of the incident.

“A large number of people had gathered on the footover bridge because of heavy rain. When the rain stopped, people started stepping out, and a pedestrian is believed to have slipped, which resulted in the tragedy. There is no valid information as such about the situation and an investigation is underway. The railway ministry has given the order for a thorough inspection to figure out the cause of this stampede,” Saxena told media here.

Anil Kumar Gupta, General Manager, Western Railways, informed the media that there will be no change in train timings and they will be running on their scheduled times.

Accident Relief Medical Equipment Train was rushed to the accident spot and immediate medical assistance was provided to the injured.

Senior railway officers were also sent to the site.

IMAGE: Footwear of the victims of a stampede are seen below Elphinstone railway station’s pedestrian overbridge. hotograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promised to take strict action against those responsible for the tragic stampede and announced Rs five lakh for the next of the kins of the deceased.

Fadnavis, who is on a two-day investor-interaction visit to Singapore, expressed condolences and said, “My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones.”

“Enquiry will be conducted by Government of Maharashtra and Ministry of Railways and necessary, strict action will be taken,” he tweeted.

“All the medical expenses of the injured will be borne by the government of Maharashtra,” he said.

Elphinstone station is usually crowded during peak hours and the festive season in the country added to the intensity of crowd here.

‘Deepest condolences to the bereaved’

IMAGE: A NDRF team at the site of the stampede at Elphinstone Railway station. Photograph: Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and others expressed condolences over the deaths caused by a stampede in Mumbai and said the situation was being monitored continuously. “Anguished by the loss of lives in the stampede in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families; prayers with injured.”
— President Ram Nath Kovind

“My deepest condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their dear ones and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”
— Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

“My deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to the stampede in Mumbai. Prayers with those who are injured. Situation in Mumbai is being continuously monitored. @PiyushGoyal is in Mumbai taking stock of the situation & ensuring all assistance.”
— Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“Saddened and shocked to know about the tragic stampede at  Elphinstone railway station, foot over bridge. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones and got affected. Spoke to Chief Secretary and @CPMumbaiPolice; asked them to reach hospital to monitor and ensure that everyone gets all the help.”
— Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed shock and anguish at the stampede and termed it man-made disaster.

Wishing an early recovery to the injured, Sonia conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased.

Terming the tragedy as a man-made disaster and expressing concern over rail safety, the Congress president said that such accidents could have been avoided had there been proper planning and concern for safety.

— With inputs from PTI

Source: ANI