Western Railway blames rain, rumour for Elphinstone station stampede

Western Railway blames rain, rumour for Elphinstone station stampede

The five-member Western Railway committee, including safety officials, constituted to present a report on the incident, collected statements of more than 30 eyewitnesses and survivors to come to this conclusion.

The report also lists a few pertinent suggestions like relocating the booking counter, regulation of vendors' entry during rush hours, additional CCTV cameras for monitoring, and hotline facility at stations.

Reportedly, a Dadar police reports had said that when rumours of the bridge collapsing spread after someone said that "phool gir gaya" (Flowers fell) and it was taken as "pul gir gaya" (bridge is collapsing).

WR Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar told media later during the day that "rumour, coupled with sudden torrential rain" on September 29 morning led to a huge rush at the Elphinstone Road station and the bridge, which led to the tragedy.

The railway official further said that none of the witnesses supported the claim of short-circuit on the bridge that led to the chaos.

The report has recommended that during peak hours passengers should not be allowed to carry heavy luggage at the local train stations.

2 terrorists killed, 2 soldiers martyred in encounter in Kashmir's Bandipora
Four family members of Parray including his father, two brothers and aunt were injured in the militant attack. Large contingent of Police and Para-military troopers had been deployed on roads to maintain law and order.

WR Chief Safety Officer (CSO), who conducted the inquiry into the stampede at a foot overbridge connecting Parel and Elphinstone Road stations, submitted the report to General Manager Anil Kumar. This would also help prevent jams caused by people with heavy luggage during peak hours.

It has suggested that officials use a quick mode of communication apart from mobile phones to ensure timely reaction and recommended providing wireless handsets to station and security staff.

"The committee would inquire why it had taken 18 months after the project was cleared to issue the tender", said an official.

Goyal, while speaking at an event in Delhi, said that he was pained that despite the new foot overbridge being already approved, the tender was not floated in time.

The panel will be headed by former Central Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha and Vinayak Chatterjee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will be its member.

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