New Delhi: The railways cancelled 37 trains and diverted 16 trains on Saturday, a day after Dussehra revellers were mowed down by a train while they were watching the burning of a Ravan effigy while standing on the tracks near Amritsar, officials said.
Amritsar train accident: 37 trains cancelled, 16 diverted today
Sixty-one people were killed and more than 70 injured in the tragedy. Giving details, the railways said 10 mail/express trains and 27 passenger trains were cancelled. While 16 trains were diverted and reached their destination through a different route, 18 trains were short terminated, Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said.
The route between Jalandhar and Amritsar was suspended, he said.
The railways maintained it had no information about the Dussehra function held near the tracks.
Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani said in a statement that the accident occurred at a midsection between the Amritsar and Manawala stations and not at a level crossing. “There was no information and no permission sought from us. The event took place at a place adjoining the railway land in private property,” he said. “At midsections, trains run at their assigned speeds and people are not expected to be on the tracks. At midsections there is no railway staff posted. We have employees at level crossings whose job is to regulate traffic.”
According to Lohani, the gateman was 400 metres away at a level crossing. If the driver had applied emergency breaks, there could have been a bigger tragedy, Lohani added.