Western Railway on Friday issued a press note and explained why shocking stampede incident took place at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Station. As per Railways’ version of things, unprecedented rains had caught people unawares. As people weren’t prepared for the situation, the sudden rain made them approach road to take shelter at Foot Over-Bridge and also at the staircase. Due to the excessive number of people taking shelter, the situation led to overcrowding at the exit, it said. Prima facie, the rumours like falling of FOB led people to panic, leading to tremendous push from behind towards exit, ultimately leading to the stampede.
The Western Railways says that there was no structural damage to the FOB which can be attributed to the stampede. FOB is 5 meters wide and 32 meters long having dual exits, ie, North and South sides. In what seemed as a cover up, WR also said that New 12 meter long FOB at north end parallel to this bridge has already been sanctioned. The Western Railways said that platforms at Elphinstone Road Station also planned to be extended with the construction of this FOB and a tender for the same has already been floated.
At least 22 people have been reported dead, while more than 50 have been injured so far in the major mishap. Taking note of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and said, “Situation in Mumbai is being continuously monitored. @PiyushGoyal is in Mumbai taking stock of the situation & ensuring all assistance(sic),”. He added: “My deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to the stampede in Mumbai. Prayers with those who are injured.”