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Friday 19 July 2019

Scores die in Indian railway tragedy while watching festival fireworks

The victims had gathered on a track during the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

A crowd gathers at the site of a train accident in Amritsar, India (Prabjhot Gill/AP)
A crowd gathers at the site of a train accident in Amritsar, India (Prabjhot Gill/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A speeding train ran over a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in northern India, killing at least 50 people.

Pratap Singh Bajwa, a Congress Party leader, said the victims crowded the rail track on Friday on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state.

He said they did not see the train, which failed to stop after the accident.

Hundreds of people were busy watching the burning of an effigy of demon Ravana during the Hindu festival of Dussehra when the train struck, he said.

The body of a victim of a train accident lies covered in cloth on a railway track (Prabhjot Gill/AP)

Following the accident, a large number of villagers rushed to the site and condemned railway authorities for not taking precautions in view of the festival.

While accidents are relatively common on India’s sprawling rail network, Friday’s was among India’s deadliest in recent years.

In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off railway tracks in eastern India.

PA Media

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