At least 22 dead in stampede at train station in Mumbai

World Today

Footwear and other items lie at the site of a pedestrian bridge stampede in Mumbai, India, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two railway stations in Mumbai during the Friday morning rush, killing a number of people police said. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

A morning commute for several people in Mumbai took a tragic turn. To escape the monsoon rains, commuters took shelter at this footbridge at a train station in the centre of the city. Then, a stampede broke out in the overcrowded area, leading to people being killed and leaving dozens injured.

But as CGTN’s Rebecca Bundhun reports, it’s put a spotlight on the condition of the city’s aging infrastructure.

The stampede has raised questions about the state of Mumbai’s infrastructure and whether authorities could have done something to prevent such an incident from occurring. There are thousands of deaths every year on India’s railways, which have old, creaking infrastructure. Authorities have said they are investigating the stampede.

“I have ordered a high-level inquiry,” said Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Railways. “The chief safety officer of western railways will inspect the location and do an investigation, and will explain the cause of the incident.”

The authorities are offering compensation of about $15,000 to the families of those have died. But residents said there are fundamental issues that urgently need to be addressed to ensure their safety.

“It’s sad that many people died,” said this man who regularly rides the train. “There might be children, there might be somebody’s parents or people going to work, and then you’re not left with any other option. If you’re living in Mumbai you have to travel by train. You cannot use cabs everyday.”

“Most of the people were commuting to work because it was rush hour,” said this passenger. “Also, as a regular commuter, it does make you feel a little afraid because nobody wants to die in this way.”

The city wants swift action to be taken, as it fears that such a tragedy could all too easily happen again.