- 22 dead in stampede near Parel suburban station
- The incident took place around 10.30 am during rush hour
- Passengers were seen carrying the injured down the bridge
The stampede took place around 10.30 am on the tiny bridge between the Elphinstone Road and Parel stations, which are among Mumbai's busiest. Witnesses say four trains rolled in at the same time and a large crowd poured into the bridge that was already bursting with people taking shelter from a sudden, heavy downpour. A few commuters slipped, and people fell on them.
"The crowd was increasing ...We couldn't breathe, we were falling on each other, there was panic. There was no exit. There was also a rumour that the bridge is falling, the bridge is breaking," shared Shruti Lokre, who survived the horror.
Visuals after the stampede showed multiple bodies and attempts to revive them. Passengers and local people were seen carrying bodies down the bridge. Footwear was scattered next to the bridge.
The police are investigating reports that a short-circuit caused a loud sound near the bridge and led to panic and chaos.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, who was in Mumbai today, has ordered an inquiry led by a top railway safety official. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the injured in the hospital late on Friday night and said a probe will be ordered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted condolences.
The two stations get much of Mumbai's local train commuter traffic as there are a large number of offices in the area. Security personnel are usually posted for crowd management at the bridge.
Angry commuters and residents said the bridge is too old and narrow and not strong enough to take the busy sector. "It was a disaster waiting to happen," remarked a local resident, saying that the bridge has been overcrowded for years and there have been multiple demands for more railway bridges for the area.
Many on social media targeted the bullet train project to link Mumbai with Ahmedabad launched earlier this month. Tweets urged the government to fund basic rail upgrades instead.
Local trains are the lifeline for the 20 million people of Mumbai.
3/GM, WR reached the site and visited the injured at KEM Hospital with medical team of WR for assistance pic.twitter.com/dgjbwVQT7C- Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 29, 2017