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.
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#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.
My deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to the stampede in Mumbai. Prayers with those who are injured.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 29, 2017
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.
Mumbai needs rebuilding of old bridges and flyovers instead of memorial / statue!
— Netra Parikh (@Netra) September 29, 2017
Govt: Stop cribbing. Statue worth 1000s of crores is prioritised over ur lowly lives n if you’re a patriot, you’ll support it. #Elphinstone
— Lola Kuttiamma (@Priya_Menon) September 29, 2017
Horrific incident at #Elphinstone station,Mumbai.There is an urgent need to improve our railway infrastructure,which has to be the priority.
— Supriya Sule (@supriya_sule) September 29, 2017
If people are dying of stampede in a train station of financial capital of the country, something somewhere is terribly wrong #Elphinstone
— TheFrustratedIndian (@FrustIndian) September 29, 2017
What Mumbai needs:
What Mumbai gets:
Name changes. #Elphinstone
— Mihir Bijur (@MihirBijur) September 29, 2017
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project — funded in part by Japan — also came under the spotlight.
— Richa Pinto (@richapintoTOI) September 29, 2017
Mumbai’s curse is having a PM who wants to finish it & benefit his voters in A’bad
Thats why the expensive toy of bullet train #Elphinstone
— MRA Amit Deshpande (@antidespondent) September 29, 2017
Others called into question Mumbai’s transport infrastructure at large.
“Going to work is an adventure sport in Mumbai,” one user wrote.
Going to work is an adventure sport in Mumbai.
— Numbyaar (@NumbYaar) September 29, 2017
God, it’s so distressing and scary to see the tragedy at #Elphinstone station. Everyday we, in this city, negotiate death traps.
— Proshant (@MrPositiveCynic) September 29, 2017
“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.
Stats show 10 people die every day in accidents on Mumbai’s rail commuter network. India’s commercial capital, its citizens deserve better!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 29, 2017
— Meenal Baghel (@writemeenal) September 15, 2017
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.
Just landed in Mumbai. Deeply grieved at tragic loss of innocent lives due to an unfortunate stampede at Elphinstone Road foot over bridge.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) September 29, 2017