58 dead as train mows into crowd watching Ravan burn in Amritsar

Train kills around 50 Dussehra revellers in Punjab

VIDEO- Trains rams into people gathered for Dussehra celebrations in Amritsar, more than 50 feared dead

It was not clear why the train did not halt despite the presence of so many people on the tracks and why the railway crossing was left open for people to gather.

"I spoke to home secretary of Punjab and DGP of the state regarding the train accident in Amritsar", Singh said on Twitter. More than 50 people are feared killed. Amritsar commissioner of police S S Srivastava put the death toll at 58 soon after the accident. The Punjab government also announced Rs 5 lakh relief to the deceased and will provide free treatment to all those who have been injured in this unfortunate incident.

Seeking to shift the blame for the tragedy on the Amritsar administration, official sources said the local authorities were aware about the Dussehra programme and that it was attended a senior minister's wife.

A witness said the train did not even sound its whistle as it sped past the site, where hundreds were watching the burning of an effigy during the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

The people who were mowed down reportedly could not hear the train coming due to the exploding crackers. Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria deputed to immediately reach Amritsar to oversee rescue operations. "We are still evacuating people".

Bystanders rushed around the bodies and police tried to carry away the injured. "The people were standing on and near the track", senior local police official Parbhjot Singh told CNN.

"Why did authorities allow the fireworks display so close to the railroad track, '" he asked on TV. The video that surfaced from the accident spot clearly shows the burning effigy and the fireworks when the train came unnoticed.

India's railway network is the world´s fourth largest and remains the main form of travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents often occur.

He added that he had ordered an inquiry into the accident and set up crisis centers under the Punjab Health & Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra's oversight.

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