Indian Authorities Confirm At Least 22 Deaths From Rail Station Stampede

by Samuel Abasi Posted on September 29th, 2017

Mumbai, India: A stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two railway stations in Mumbai during the Friday morning rush, killing at least 22 people and injuring 32 others, Indian officials said. Police are investigating what caused the stampede on the bridge, which led some commuters to leap over the railing. Others were crushed or fell underfoot and were trampled.

Mumbai police official Gansham Patel said some falling concrete had hit part of the bridge railing, leading people to surge forward out of panic at the thought that the bridge was collapsing.

Commuters also often complain about hawkers selling their wares on the narrow overpass, which connects two commuter railway stations, Elphinstone and Parel.

Heavy rains meant the bridge was even more crowded than usual, as some sought shelter from the downpour under the canopy covering the bridge, said lawmaker Shaina Nana Chudasama of the governing Bhartiya Janata Party. Authorities attributed the rush on the footbridge to the morning rains.

“There were rains during morning which resulted in the unusual rush at the narrow footbridge,” the police official said.

Hospitals were treating 32 injured people, including 19 women and 13 men.

Locals said over 400 people were present at the bridge at the time of the stampede.

As Mumbai police appealed to citizens to donate blood to help the injured, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the families of those killed. “Prayers with those who are injured,” Modi tweeted.

“We have evacuated people to the hospitals and rushed in rescue teams to the spot,” a senior police official told media.

Photo: Stampede at Indian railway station kills 22

Police officials said they were yet to ascertain what led to the stampede.

Television footages showed people lying on the ground, some unconscious and people trying to revive them with water and first aid.

Reports said the two train stations are used by most of the commuters in Mumbai as the areas are close to many office buildings.

Locals said over 400 people were present at the bridge at the time of the stampede.

Separately in the southern city of Banglaore, two people were killed in another stampede by hundreds of people jostling to obtain coupons for free food offered by a local philanthropist, police said. The philanthropist has been detained for questioning.

Deadly stampedes are fairly common in densely populated India, where many cities are unequipped to deal with large crowds gathering in small areas, with few safety or crowd control measures.

In October 2013, a stampede in Madhya Pradesh state in central India killed more than 110 people, mostly women and children.

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