Elphinstone stampede: Railways probe blames heavy rain, panic

Mumbai stampede High-level Railway committee gives clean chit to Railway officials

"This may have possibly triggered panic and led to stampede", said the committee in it report submitted to Anil Kumar, GM Western Railway.

The stampede took place at around 10.40 am after the overbridge became overcrowded with people taking shelter from a heavy downpour. A video footage of the incident was also examined.

"Due to the incessant rain, the constant flow of the passengers further increased which resulted in overcrowding of the bridge", he said.

The probe said none of the witnesses supported the claim that the chaos was caused by a short circuit on the bridge.

The inquiry panel has recommended that passengers be prevented from carrying heavy luggage during peak hours.

Among the major suggestions to avoid any such situation in the future are restricting the movement of commuters, mainly vendors, carrying baskets stuffed with goods during peak hours.

Other recommendations include relocation of elevated booking to widen the staircase. Railway officials in a report said that the bridge was structurally sound with no damage.

A committee consisting of 5 Senior Administrative Grade Officers (Joint Secretary level) under the Presidentship of Chief Safety Officer, W.Rly, was formed to inquire into the incidence of stampede on north end FOB of Elphinstone Road Station on Mumbai Central - Dadar suburban section on 29/9/17.

It is brought out that the issue of Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) for Elphinstone Road FOB took about 18 months.

The statements of as many as 30 injured passengers, local residents and the GRP and RPF personnel were recorded to reach the conclusion, Bhakar said. Vinayak Chatterjee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will be its member.

The committee has to submit its reports within three months. According to officials, the committee has also been asked to recommend ways to ensure that such delays do not occur again.

Goyal, while speaking at an event in Delhi, said that he was pained that despite the new foot overbridge being already approved, the tender was not floated on time.

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