22 dead, almost 40 injured in Mumbai bridge stampede

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Yesterday, 22 people were killed and over 39 got critically injured in a rush-hour stampede at Mumbai's Elphinstone railway station's foot over bridge. "There was a delay in addressing the problem", regional health minister Deepak Sawat said.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil of the Congress said he had written to the railway ministry past year seeking a meeting of public representatives with the railway minister to solve the issue of overcrowding at stations in Mumbai.

According to the official release, for next 18 months, General Managers of Railway zones have been delegated powers without limit for safety related issues.

Calling the accident a massacre, Sena MP Sanjay Raut told PTI, "This incident is a public massacre for which the government and railways are responsible".

The narrow Elphinstone bridge is always crowded as it receives heavy commuter traffic.

After 23 people were killed in Mumbai's Elphinstone railway station stampede, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has declared a series of safety measures putting passenger safety as a top priority. The death count is feared to go up. The new foot overbridge is expected to be 12 metres wide.

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As per reports, the stampede broke out at around 10.30 AM on the bridge between the busy Parel and Elphinstone Road local railway stations. "All necessary work will be done on the war-footing", he added.

The BBC's Yogita Limaye in Mumbai says the incident has once again put the spotlight on Mumbai's transport infrastructure, which is often criticised for being old and insufficient given the millions of people who use it every day.

"There are 1.42 lakh vacant posts in the railway safety department". The funds of such projects are usually diverted to major, more visible projects, he said.

In response, Prabhu said that the extension of the foot over bridge by 100 metres on the north side was under consideration.

"The Modi government has raised railway tariff by 70 per cent in the last three years". Most of the injured were admitted to KEM Hospital.

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