Elphinstone Stampede Updates: 22 Dead, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Uddhav Thackeray Visit KEM Hospital

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A man breaks down after the stampede between Mumbai's Parel and Elphinstone stations (AFP)

Mumbai: At least 22 people have been killed and over 30 seriously injured in a stampede that broke out at a narrow foot overbridge near a local train station in Mumbai after heavy rain this morning. The incident took place around 10.30 am during rush hour near a ticket window between Parel and Elphinstone stations. Many events coincided to produce a tragedy that many say could have been avoided, had successive governments heeded warnings. Four trains arrived around the same time, and a huge crowd tried to get out. The bridge was already crowded after sudden, heavy rain that had people scurrying for cover. Some say a loud bang after a short circuit led to panic. A witness said there were rumours of the old bridge collapsing. Within moments, many were crushed and injured.

Here are the updates on the stampede incident near Mumbai's Elphinstone Station:

Sep 29, 2017 23:34 (IST)
Devendra Fadnavis Visits KEM Hospital

"It was a very sad and a serious incident. An inquiry will be done into the incident," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said after visiting KEM Hospital.
Sep 29, 2017 18:20 (IST)
Suresh Prabhu Ignored Alarm Bells: Congress

The Congress party said former Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu ignored all alarm bells on Elphinstone and let a man-made disaster unfold. "Is public safety not a concern for BJP ministers?" the Congress tweeted on its official handle.
Sep 29, 2017 18:18 (IST)
Mamata Banerjee Expresses Condolence

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today expressed her condolences on the Mumbai stampede deaths and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured. "Saddened at the loss of lives in Mumbai. Prayers for the injured to recover. Condolences to the families who lost loved ones," said Ms Banerjee, a former Railway Minister.
Sep 29, 2017 18:15 (IST)
Sonia Gandhi Expresses Shock At Mumbai Tragedy

Congress President Sonia Gandhi today expressed shock and anguish over the death of 22 people in the stampede in Mumbai. "Anguished at Elphinstone tragedy, my condolences to those who lost their lives. Wishing an early recovery to the injured," the Congress tweeted, quoting Sonia Gandhi. In a statement, the Congress chief said, "Such accidents could have been avoided had there been proper planning and concern for safety issues."

Sep 29, 2017 18:09 (IST)
Shiv Sena Calls Mumbai Stampede 'Massacre'

The Shiv Sena today criticised its ally BJP and called the stampede a "public massacre", news agency IANS reported. "The stampede on the foot overbridge at Elphinstone Road railway station is a public massacre of the people by the government," Shiv Sena parliamentarian Sanjay Raut told reporters. Mr Raut said instead of the bullet train, the government should first pay attention to basic rail safety.

Policemen check the foot overbridge where the stampede happened (AFP)

Another Shiv Sena parliamentarian Rahul Shewale said he had written to former Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in April 2015 demanding that the width of the overbridge where the stampede happened should be widened due to safety concerns. Mr Shewale said Suresh Prabhu rejected his request citing lack of funds and operational constraints, news agency IANS reported.

Sep 29, 2017 17:52 (IST)
Additional Foot Overbridge At Elphinstone Sanctioned: Railway Official

One additional foot overbridge at a cost of Rs 9.5 crore has already been sanctioned by the Railway Ministry for Mumbai's Elphinstone station and a tender has been floated, a railway official said, news agency ANI reported.
Sep 29, 2017 17:34 (IST)
Government Didn't Listen To 'Constructive Suggestions': Lalu Yadav

RJD chief Lalu Yadav has alleged the government did not pay attention to "constructive suggestions" on improving railway safety. In a series of tweets, Lalu Yadav said he has written three letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the railway minister in the last three years highlighting the "miserable condition of IR (Indian Railways)". Mr Yadav, who was Railway Minister in UPA-I, said railway infrastructure is old and overburdened, which needs "renovation and replacement". "It must be the priority rather than bullet train," Lalu Yadav said.

Sep 29, 2017 17:25 (IST)
Opposition Parties Seek Judicial Probe

Opposition parties in Maharashtra have sought a judicial enquiry into today's stampede, news agency IANS reported. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan visited the railway station and met with the families of those who died in the stampede. "This is a very grave tragedy. The government must order a judicial probe into it and take stringent action against those responsible," he said. Nationalist Congress Party legislator Jitendra Awhad targeted the ruling BJP for allegedly ignoring issues concerning the safety of Mumbai railway commuters.
Sep 29, 2017 17:20 (IST)
19 Of 22 Killed In Mumbai Stampede Identified

Nineteen of the 22 people killed in the stampede at a railway foot overbridge have been identified, a civic official said, news agency PTI reports. "We carried out a detailed verification of documents and ascertained the identity of 19 victims so far," said IA Kundan, Additional Municipal Commissioner. A help desk has been set up at KEM Hospital to identity those who died in the stampede.
Sep 29, 2017 16:33 (IST)

Compensation of Rs. 1 lakh for those grievously injured

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the grievously injured persons and Rs 50,000 to those who suffered minor injuries in the incident. He also announced a complete 'safety and capacity' audit of all the FOBs across the suburban train network. Mr Goyal also said an inquiry report of the incident will come in 10 days.