#Elphinstone: Mumbai railway stampede kills 22, Twitter users question govt

india train mumbai elphinstone

At least 22 people have died after a rush hour stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road train station.

The incident occurred as commuters traversed a foot bridge in heavy rains during the city’s morning commute. More than 50 people were injured in the fracas.

#Elphinstone became Twitter’s top trending hashtag soon after the incident, as Indians took to social media to issue condolences to those affected, blame authorities for the incident, and share their struggles of travelling using the city’s metro network.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi lead the sympathies.

But others on Twitter felt the incident could’ve been avoided under Modi’s rule.

Citizens and politicians alike criticised the Indian government’s priorities and investments. The proposed Shivaji Statue — set to be the tallest in the world — bore the brunt of the scrutiny.

“There is an urgent need to improve our railway infrastructure, which has to be the priority,” tweeted Supriya Sule, Nationalist Congress Party member and MP.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project — funded in part by Japan — also came under the spotlight.

Others called into question Mumbai’s transport infrastructure at large.

“Going to work is an adventure sport in Mumbai,” one user wrote.

“Stats show 10 people die every day in accidents on Mumbai’s rail commuter network. India’s commercial capital, its citizens deserve better!” tweeted journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

The country’s Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal was “deeply grieved at tragic loss of innocent lives”. He also ordered a “high level enquiry” into the incident.

Feature image: a train station in Mumbai, 2016 – Nicolas Vigier via Flickr (Public domain)

Andy Walker, former editor


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