New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) The stampede at Elphistone Road railway station foot overbridge in Mumbai on September 29, in which 23 people were killed, was caused due to heavy rain, officials said on Wednesday quoting an inquiry report.
The inquiry panel headed by the Western Railway (WR) Chief Security Officer submitted its report to WR General Manager Anil Kumar on Wednesday after recording statements of 30 commuters who were injured in the stampede.
Referring to the report, a railway official said the “cause of the mishap was heavy rain which forced people outside at the ticket windows to rush towards the staircase even as it was already jampacked”.
“Constant flow of passengers arriving at the station compounded the problem,” the official said quoting from the report. “The people with heavy luggage lost balance because of which the stampede might have occurred.”
The railway official further said that none of the witnesses supported the claim of short-circuit on the bridge that led to the chaos.
According to him, the inquiry team also examined the video footage of the incident recorded by the people.
On September 29, at least 22 commuters were killed in a stampede on a foot overbridge connecting Parel and Elphinstone Road stations of Western Railway. Another passenger died in hospital during treatment on September 30.
The inquiry panel also recommended a slew of measures to avert such incidents in the future.
It suggested relocating elevated booking offices to widen the staircase which is adjacent to the foot overbridge where the stampede occurred. This would also help prevent jams caused by people with heavy luggage during peak hours.
Apart from widening, an additional staircase could also be provided, the official said.
The inquiry team also recommended a quick mode of communication apart from mobile phones to ensure shorter reaction time, including wireless handsets, for station and security staff.
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