Railways blame weather gods for Elphinstone Road bridge stampede

Passengers were caught in a stampede at Elphinstone railway station's foot over bridge in Mumbai

A high-level committee formed by the Railways to look into the September 29 stampede at Mumbai's Elphinstone Road railway station has given Railway officials a clean chit.

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

The constant flow of passengers arriving at the station only compounded the problem, and added to the panic and confusion.

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.

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

It suggested relocating elevated booking offices to widen the staircase which is adjacent to the foot overbridge where the stampede occurred.


WR Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar told media later during the day that "rumour, coupled with sudden torrential rain" on September 29 morning led to a huge rush at the Elphinstone Road station and the bridge, which led to the tragedy.

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.

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

More than 30 people were injured in the stampede. The panel is expected to submit the report within three months.

This committee would be headed by Shri Pratyush Sinha (Retd Chief Vigilance Commissioner) with Shri Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman CII Economic Affairs council, and Shri Subodh Jain, (Retd Member Engineering, Railway Board) as Members and current Director Safety, Rly Board, Shri Pankaj Kumar as Member Secretary.

While speaking at an event in Delhi, railways minister Piyush Goyal said that he was pained that despite the new FoB being already approved, the tender was not floated in time.

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