The five-member committee headed by the Chief Safety Officer of the Western Railway (WR) was probing the stampede on the foot overbridge at Elphinstone Road station that happened on September 29. The members of the committee have however said that the absence of CCTV footage of the scene has made it difficult for them to ascertain the exact cause of the tragedy. The committee started its probe on October 3 and is likely to submit its report next week, reported the Indian Express.
Accounts of 22 witnesses who were present at the accident scene were recorded by the committee. One member was quoted as saying, “We have spoken to 22 witnesses. These 22 witnesses are those who were injured in the stampede and have seen the stampede. The witness account forms a major part of the primary information we have.”
Elphinstone Road railway station had 12 CCTV cameras, but the members failed to possess any CCTV footage of what triggered the accident. “Elphinstone Road railway station has 12 CCTV cameras. It is unfortunate that there was no camera that could capture the accident scene,” a member said. Currently, the footage of two CCTV cameras placed atop the bridge is being studied, members said. While one camera shows the movement of commuters on the bridge from the Parel side towards Elphinstone Road, the other camera, placed next to the booking office, shows commuters climbing down the staircase opposite the accident site.
“We do not possess any CCTV footage of what triggered the accident. In the last 20 minutes before the accident, we can see a build-up of commuters on the staircase. On the east and west sides of the bridge,a slow build-up of commuters who wanted to escape the rains is also witnessed. This clearly showed us that a large crowd had gathered on the steps of the bridge as well,” a member said.