A speeding train ran over a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in India today, killing at least 50 people. Hundreds of people were watching the burning of an effigy of demon Ravana during the Hindu festival of Dussehra in northern Punjab state when the train struck.
The commuter train hit the crowd standing and sitting on the railway line to watch a fireworks show during evening celebrations, police and eyewitnesses said. Pratap Singh Bajwa said the victims crowded the rail track 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. The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar and spectators reportedly could not hear the horn of the train being sounded due to the exploding crackers. Following the accident, a large number of villagers rushed to the site and condemned railroad authorities for not taking precautions in view of the festival.
Videos posted on social media showed the fireworks going off as a large group of people watched on. A huge effigy of Ravana had just been set off and loud bangs and cracks with fire and sparks flying into the air were going off as the train came speeding through the packed audience.
Suddenly the train crashed through the crowd with screams of disbelief as it failed to stop for the spectators.