Mumbai, September 29: Passengers and local commuters have blamed the Railway Ministry for the Elphinstone railway station stampede in Mumbai on Friday morning. At least 27 people were killed and 30 others injured in a stampede on a foot overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations in Mumbai, police said. Also read: Rain Leaves Currey Road Railway Station Completely Choked With People

A passenger complained that majority of the foot overbridge is being occupied by hawkers making it difficult for passengers to walk. “More than half of the bridge is being occupied by hawkers leaving a very little space for passengers to walk. Policemen let the hawkers work on the bridge in exchange of money. Every hour at least 8,000 commuters use this bridge. It is a narrow bridge and it is being used for both to and fro movement. The tragedy was bound to happen. Railway has turned a blind eye to people’s safety,” he said.

Another commuter said that the Railway Ministry did not pay heed to their requests. “We have sent letters to the Rail Ministry several times asking them to widen the bridge or provide another bridge but nothing has been done. The letter was written six months ago.”

The tragedy took place amid rain in the city around 10:40 AM when the foot overbridge was heavily crowded, a police official said. Police suspect that a short-circuit with a loud sound near the bridge led to panic and people started running, resulting in the stampede.

Helpline numbers have been issued following the stampede at Elphinstone railway station stampede:
KEM Hospital: 022-2417000
Mumbai Railway Control room: 022-23081725
Central Railway police number: 022-24150620