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A senior Punjab police official on condition of anonymity said, "More than 50 casualties have already been identified and right now we are busy evacuating injured to the hospitals".

The CPRO Northern Railway was quoted as saying, "At gate no. 27 b/w Amritsar and Manawala". District authorities have been directed to take up relief and rescue operations on a war footing, tweets Punjab CM Amrinder Singh. The toll is likely to rise, he said. She added that people are doing politics on this tragedy which is shameful.

A witness said the train didn't even sound its whistle as it sped past the site, where hundreds were watching the burning of an effigy of demon Ravana during the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Further speaking on this incident, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that the authorities have set up crisis management group under Brahm Mohindra in order to monitor the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Amritsar.

The gathering of people close to tracks near Amritsar where a train mowed down Dussehra revellers was a "clear case of trespassing" and no permission for the event had been given by the railways, a senior official told PTI. Media reports suggest that the tally could be much higher.

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Some people think the auction house were in on it, they weren't". "The artist put the frame on as well", he is heard saying. It is unclear how - or by whom - the footage was obtained, and some sections appears to have been surreptitiously recorded.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Kovind, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and Congress President Rahul Gandhi offered their condolences.

The Chief Minister also announced free treatment to all injured in the accident.

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MoS Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters in New Delhi that medical teams are rushing to the spot.

All services on Jalandhar-Amritsar route remained suspended three hours after the incident, a railway official told PTI. "I raced back as soon as I heard about the accident". The bursting of the crackers from the effigy had reportedly drowned out the noise of the approaching train.

Telephone numbers at Manawala station are: 0183-2440024, 0183-2402927; and at Ferozpur: 01632-1072.


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