More than 50 people were killed on Friday after a high-speed train ran over the celebrants of a Hindu festival in northern India, with eyewitnesses saying that they did not receive any warning before a catastrophic event occurred.
A crowd had gathered on rails in the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab to see fireworks display the Dussehra festival as the train raced along the train at high speed.
"There are more than 50 dead, the priority is now, the injured to the hospital," Amritsar City Police Commissioner SS Srivastava told reporters.
More than 60 people who were injured were treated for emergency treatment at various hospitals in the city, he added.
"There was a lot of noise, as fireworks seemed to be released and they (victims) were unable to hear the approaching train," another AFP police officer said on condition of anonymity.
An eyewitness told a local television station that there would be "complete uproar" when the masses did not die "196519007" Everyone ran helter-skelter and suddenly the train crashed into the mass of people, "he said.
Another eyewitness said people were taking pictures on their cell phones and "they were not warned that they should not be on the tracks."
Television footage showed crowds gathering around the venue where an image of the demon king Ravana went up in flames and exploded.
Many who climbed onto the rooftops to catch a glimpse of the action clapped and cheered as the fireworks exploded.
But the festive scenes soon became tragic.
"I lost my child, I want him back," said a mother in distress (19659013) Some relatives of the deceased accused the authorities of having a "major function" next to the railway.
An AFP photographer at the scene said some casualties had lost the accident limb while others suffered head
– "Heartbreaking tragedy & # 39; –
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh ordered an investigation into the accident and announced a financial compensation of Rs 500,000 ($ 6,800) to the victims' families.
"We have asked all hospitals to remain open during the night so that the injured can be treated," Singh told reporters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely distressed by the "heartbreaking tragedy" and asked the officials for immediate help for the injured.
India's rail network is the fourth largest in the world and remains the most important form of travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and often leads to fatal accidents.
The country is home to hundreds of railroad overpasses that are unmanned and particularly prone to accidents, with people often ignoring oncoming train warnings.
A government report from 2012 described the loss of 15,000 passengers in rail accidents every year in India as a "mas sacre."
Premier Modi pledged $ 137 billion over five years to modernize the crumbling network.
Rail Minister Piyush Goyal said he would stop his trip to the US and return to India immediately.
Strengthen the bereaved and injured, "Goyal tweeted.
" The railroad offers all sorts of help on the job site.
Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning huge portraits symbolizing the triumph of good
Disaster religious festivals are not uncommon in India, and police and volunteers are often overwhelmed by the sheer mass of masses.
In 2016, 24 people died after a mass panic broke out in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi.