LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Dozens Feared Dead As Train Plows Through Crowd Of Revelers In India

An angry crowd shouts slogans at the site of a deadly train accident on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, on Friday. One official said the local response was on par with a "war footing" as emergency workers tended to the dead and injured.

More than 50 people reportedly were killed Friday when a train plowed through revelers who had gathered on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Amritsar for the Hindu celebration of Dussehra marking the triumph of good over evil.

Witnesses told media outlets that as crowds spilled onto the train tracks, the booming of fireworks and the general celebratory din may have masked the sound of the oncoming train.

Video posted to Twitter shows flames consuming a huge effigy of the demon king Ravana amid deafening crackling. Spectators, some recording with their cellphones, stand with their heads tilted up. Then a train barrels through.

The commuter train was traveling at a high rate of speed, Reuters reports.

Officials said the exact death toll remains unclear.

"Some are saying 50, some are saying 60," Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh said of the number killed. "But the injured are many." He said the injured were being transported to the hospital, adding, "The government is going to bear the full cost of this."

A crisis management center was in operation, and Singh described the mobilization of local authorities as on par with "war footing."

A state of mourning was declared for Saturday in Punjab, a state bordering Pakistan.

In Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been tweeting photos of the joyful celebration, which is also known as Vijayadashami. One hour later, he tweeted his condolences at the tragic turn of events.

"Extremely saddened by the train accident in Amritsar," he said. "The tragedy is heart-wrenching."

Modi said he has asked officials to provide immediate assistance.

Singh tweeted that about $6,800 will be given to the families of the dead and that the injured will receive free medical care.

India's rail system — among the longest in the world — has had a dismal safety record.

Last year, Indian officials reportedly tallied nearly 600 rail accidents in the preceding five years, around half of which were due to derailments.

Two years ago, more than 130 people were killed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh after a train jumped the tracks.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)