With at least 60 people crushed by a speeding train in Amritsar and over 70 others injured, senior political figures including Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore and Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, visited the injured in hospitals here on Saturday.
Badnore arrived early on Saturday and met the injured at the Guru Nanak Dev government hospital here. “This is a big tragedy. The doctors here are doing a good job in trying to save people,” Badnore, who rushed from Chandigarh, told the media.
State Education Minister and Amritsar legislator O.P. Soni was also present during the Governor’s visit. Sidhu arrived at the hospital on Saturday morning accompanied by hordes of security personnel and officials.
Sidhu, whose wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Dusshera festival function where the tragedy took place near Jora Phatak area of Amritsar city on Friday evening, refused to talk to the media. Sidhu met the injured and their families in the hospital and assured all possible help from the government and the local administration.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is expected to arrive here later on Saturday and meet the families of victims. Amarinder had on Friday night announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to those who died in the incident.
Over 700 people were watching the huge Ravana effigy going up in flames amid exploding crackers when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU passenger train coming to Amritsar from Hoshiarpur came hurtling down around 7 p.m.
It took just about 10-15 seconds for the train to pass — and leave behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.
People standing on the tracks did not realise that the train was approaching fast due to the noise of the firecrackers during the burning effigy. The police has said that the toll could go up.