AMRITSAR As scores of Dussehra revellers watching the burning of Ravana effigy were mowed down by a passing train near Amritsar, the disturbing video footage of the accident showed many across the railway tracks filming the celebrations on their mobile phones when the tragedy struck.
At least 61 people died and many more injured in the accident between Manawala and Ferozpur stations near Amritsar, when the train ran through the crowd that had assembled across the tracks to watch the Dussehra event.
Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at the programme, later said nobody knew how the accident happened as people were enjoying and also taking selfies standing on the tracks.
Many, including political leaders, took to Twitter to express dismay over the selfie culture during such tragic incidents.
“What a mindless & entirely avoidable tragedy! Watching this video you’d be hard pressed to imagine the scale of the tragedy considering the way people are nonchalantly filming away on their phones even after the train has run over people!,” former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Preeti Sharma Menon tweeted, it was so unbelievable that the train ran over the crowd “and they continued filming”.
Video footage of the accident on television channels showed several mobile phones flashing from across the tracks when the horrific accident occurred.
During several other tragedies in the past, people were seen taking selfies, which has been criticised by many as apathy and disrespectful towards the victim.
Families bid tearful farewell to those killed in Amritsar train accident
Families and relatives Saturday bid an emotional goodbye to 39 of the 59 people killed in the tragic train accident here that has sent shock waves across the country.
The mortal remains were consigned to flames at different cremation grounds here as heartbroken friends and family members of the deceased wept inconsolably, not ready to believe their loved ones were no more.
Some of the tragedy-struck women fainted at the cremation grounds when the funeral pyres of their relatives were lit.
Parents of the children killed in the accident broke down several times.
Davinder found it really hard to come to terms with his brother’s death.
Several members of his family, hailing from Bihar, were killed in the horrific accident.
Earlier, officials said 40 of the 59 people killed in the accident had been identified.
At least 59 people were killed Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak here.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Sandip Rishi said 31 bodies were cremated at the Durgiana Mandir’s cremation ground. The mortal remains of five people were consigned to flames at the crematorium in the Mohkampura area.
Three bodies were cremated at the crematorium near the Shaeed Ganj gurdwara.
Rishi said four bodies were taken to Uttar Pradesh for the final rites, while three bodies kept in the mortuary would be cremated later.
Shiromani Akali Dal Badal chief Sukhbir Badal and former ministers Bikram Majithia and Daljit Singh Cheema attended the cremation ceremony at the Durgiana Mandir’s cremation ground.
Sukhbir expressed condolences to families of the victims and offered all possible help to them.
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