From three confirmed deaths, the toll is now standing at 22 deaths and 30 injured. These are the casualty figures of the rush hour stampede on a foot overbridge (FOB) linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations in Mumbai this morning.
The tragedy took place amid rain in the city around 10.40 am when the FOB was heavily crowded, a police official said. Police suspect a short-circuit with a loud sound near the FOB led to panic and people started running, resulting in the stampede. Whereas public claim there were shouts of the FOB collapsing. The incident happened at the right-end of the bridge.
Since it was raining people were taking shelter from the rain as well as rushing to their trains and that is when the tragedy occurred. Any Mumbai local train traveller will understand the chaos that had erupted, with nowhere to go and claims of the bridge falling down was enough for the panic to kick in.
Initially three persons were brought dead to the KEM Hospital in Parel. Besides, around 20 persons were injured and rushed to various hospitals, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's disaster control room said.
The bridge, as is visible in the images, is quite a narrow one and during rush hour commuters literally push and jostle their way to get to the respective platforms. A lot of offices are located in Parel and is also used by people going to the Tata Cancer Hospital. Locals face the peak hour struggle daily but were not expecting such a mishap to happen.
Passengers headed to Parel have been advised to avoid Elphinstone and get down at Lower Parel and Dadar instead.