Mumbai commuter stampede leaves at least 22 dead
MUMBAI – Agence France-Presse
Dozens of people took shelter on the bridge from a sudden downpour and the deadly crush started as they emerged all at once, an Indian Railways spokesman said.
“The incident occurred as heavy rains lashed Mumbai and passengers took refuge on the foot overbridge. People at the front slipped and the huge crowd toppled over leading to the stampede,” spokesman Ravindra Bhakar told AFP.
“Twenty-two dead have been confirmed, 14 men and eight women are among the dead. Some 32 passengers are injured.”
The toll was likely to rise, a disaster management cell spokesman warned, with several of the injured undergoing treatment in hospitals in India’s financial capital.
Trains were briefly halted and a formal enquiry has been ordered into the tragedy, Bhakar added.
The stampede broke out at 10:30 a.m. near a ticket window on the bridge that connects the Elphinstone and Parel stations in south Mumbai.
TV footage showed commuters trying to revive the injured by pumping their chests and also carrying some down stairs to street level.
Anita Kamble, a 37-year-old who lives near the railway station, said she was alerted by a loud noise.
“Women were screaming all around. We couldn’t figure out anything as the bridge and the streets were overflowing with people,” she told AFP.
“It was a horrific sight. We saw injured people being carried away by police.”
Another resident Babita Kamble said the bridge was old and quite narrow.
“There are a lot of problems with the bridge and it definitely needs rework and repair. This is a regular feature during monsoon, there is so much crowding with no safety measures in place.”