Howrah: At least two people were killed and 14 injured in a stampede at the foot overbridge of the Santragachi railway station in West Bengal’s Howrah district on Tuesday evening.
The stampede was sparked by passengers making a dash for the only staircase leading to three platforms on the station.
The incident occurred when an express train and two EMU locals arrived at the station at the same time at around 6.30 pm and passengers rushed to the platforms to board the trains, officials said.
The Nagercoil-Shalimar Express and two EMU locals arrived at the station at the same time, while Shalimar-Vishakhapatnam Express and Santragachi-Chennai Express were scheduled to arrive shortly, SER spokesman Sanjay Ghosh said.
“The incident took place between platform numbers two and three. A large number of passengers de-boarded while some were waiting to board their respective trains at the same time. This led to stampede due to rush on the foot over-bridge. An internal inquiry has been ordered in the matter,” Ghosh told News18.
While 11 injured persons were taken to Howrah General Hospital for treatment, three others were administered first aid at the station.
Several express trains stop at the station, apart from numerous EMU locals of SER. Thousands of people use the station every day since it is easier to travel to and from south and central Kolkata from Santragachi.
Soon after the incident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the spot and blamed railways’ poor coordination which led to the mishap.
“On cannot deny that there was a negligence of railway officials who are posted here. They should have taken precaution but unfortunately such incidents are happening again and again across the country,” she said.
The Chief Minister announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kind of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh for those who received serious injuries, which was also matched by the Railways.
Banerjee ordered an administrative inquiry that will be monitored by the chief secretary and he has been asked to submit a report at the earliest.