Global News

Mumbai stampede probe: Railway officials given clean chit by inquiry committee

Mumbai stampede probe: Railway officials given clean chit by inquiry committee

The two-member committee would inquire why it had taken 18 months after the project was cleared to issue the tender, railway spokesperson Anil Saxena told PTI. An inquiry team set up to probe the incident found that the stampede was caused due to panic and confustion at the entrance to the railway station.

The report was compiled by five senior officials of the Western Railway including the chief safety officer.

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 committee has instead blamed the stampede, in which 23 people died, on rains and rumours.

"Meanwhile, a vendor who was carrying a big sack of flowers lost his balance and shouted in Marathi phool padla, which people misunderstood as pul gir gaya and they started running and people got trampled", Bhakar said.

According to him, the inquiry team also examined the video footage of the incident recorded by the people.

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

To a question whether it was the railways fault in the incident, Bhakar said, "We can not blame one staffer or department for this incident".

The probe committee also recommended certain short- and long-term measures for Mumbai suburban stations, including installation of additional CCTVs at stations and in trains, removal of all encroachments on bridges and foot overbridges and in railway stations' vicinity, among others.

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.

Relocating the elevated booking office to widen the staircase (the elevated booking office is adjacent to the staircase where the stampede occurred) is also one of the recommendations.


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