22 die in Delhi railway bridge stampede

Railway Ministry asks top officials to shun first-class AC and travel in sleeper coach

Mumbai, Sep 29 Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tonight visited the civic-run KEM Hospital here where those injured in the deadly stampede at Elphinstone Road station footbridge have been admitted.

"As of now 22 people have been confirmed to have died in the stampede and 27 others have been injured,"a local police official said". Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to offer his "deepest condolences" to those who lost their lives and "prayers with those who are injured".

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal arrived in Mumbai, where he was to dedicate 100 new suburban stations on the CR and WR route in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region coinciding with the Navratri-Dassera festivities.

The tragedy took place around 10.40 am when the foot over bridge, used by lakhs of people to commute to the commercial area with high-end corporate and media offices, was heavily crowded.

Over 30 people injured in the incident have been admitted to hospitals, the officials said. As quoted by ANI, Goyal said, "In next 7 days all suburban stations will be inspected to identify vulnerable issues; will speed up work on FOBs". While there were samaritans who helped the injured in the time of distress, other, it seems, had other ideas on their minds, as reported by India Today.

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Ironically, the Western Railway carries out safety audits of every station, mainly the steel structures and overbridges twice a year.

The crush occurred on a pedestrian bridge between two railway stations. "Piyush Goyal is in Mumbai taking stock of the situation and ensuring all assistance".

Last year, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant even wrote to Mr Prabhu calling for repairs on the bridge.

The Western Railways, in a statement, asserted that there was overcrowding at the foot over bridge due to heavy rains and people panicked on rumours of foot over bridge collapsing.

The Indian rail network carries more than 23 million passengers daily, the equivalent to moving the entire population of Australia, and connects 8,000 stations across the subcontinent.

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