Tue, 20 Nov 2018
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Amritsar (Punjab) [India], Oct 19 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered an inquiry into the tragic train accident in Amritsar in which more than 50 people are feared dead.

Extending his sympathies to the families of the deceased, the Chief Minister has also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, besides all possible support and help to them, read an official statement.

The Chief Minister has set up a Crisis Management Group to monitor the relief and rehabilitation efforts. The group is led by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, with Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Technical Education Minister Charanjit S Channi as members.The team has rushed to the accident site.

Amarinder Singh, who was scheduled to leave for Israel this evening, has also postponed his trip and will fly to Amritsar in the morning to personally assess the damage and meet the families of the victims of the mishap.

"Initial reports suggest that the mishap occurred during a stampede as people rushed towards the tracks when crackers were burnt in large numbers during the burning of the Ravan effigy near the tracks. The reports indicate that train crashed through the crowd on the tracks at that time, leading to the tragedy, according to Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister," the statement read.

Extending his government's full support to the district administration in this hour of grief, Singh has ordered all the administrative and police manpower needed at the site to be immediately mobilised. Additional police forces, led by the Director General of Police (DGP), have been rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

Acting on the Chief Minister's directives, Rehabilitation Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Health Minister Brahm Mohindra have already rushed to Amritsar to supervise the rescue and relief operations. The Home Secretary and the Health Secretary, along with DGP Law and Order, have also left for Amritsar.

The Chief Minister has ordered all the necessary administrative and police personnel to be mobilised on a war footing to help out the district administration tackle the situation. He has also directed the Chief Secretary to deploy all the necessary administrative officials to ensure that the injured are immediately lifted to hospitals across Amritsar. All private hospitals have also been asked to stay open, along with government hospitals, to provide urgent free treatment and care to the injured. (ANI)

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