The Mumbai, Elphinstone Road station stampede which saw as many as 23 people losing their lives and 39 getting injured has been stated as one of the most tragic events to have hit the financial capital of the nation in recent times. It was a busy, sunny day on September 29 when a bunch of commuters collided with each other resulting in a horrific scene which turned bloody. Mumbai Police are now through with their investigation of the matter, it took them 4 days to judge the major factors which were responsible for the mishap and the two reasons mentioned in the report are continuous rain which kept the crowd halted on the foot overbridge and the overflowing crowd which kept on adding to the minimal space. Neither of the two was to stop anytime soon. The report found no fault in fulfilling obligations from the side of railway officials.
According to a report in Indian Express, the probe by Mumbai Police found that the downpour led to commuters staying put at the end the bridge to avoid getting drenched. However, with trains arriving at Elphinstone Road every four minutes, the crowd at the entry of the staircase increased and they pushed the crowd from behind.
The examining body from Dadar police station read the CCTV footage from the day and concluded that the whole incident took just 9-10 minutes to get over. In the footage which didn’t have any visuals of the actual stampede crowd movements from the two ends, the booking counter and the main exit were recorded. People in the visuals can be seen recording something on their mobile phones and their phones are placed towards the stairway where the stampeded unfolded between 10:26 am to 10:35 am.
Elphinstone Road station is a regular crowd packed station and trains keep coming and going. On the incident day, trains kept coming and the number of passengers taking shelter on the bridge kept on increasing. As per the statement of a crowd witness, the stampede was inescapable and it all started in just matter of seconds when a flower seller called out loud ”Phool gir gya” (My flowers fell) people misjudged it as ”Pool gir gya” (Bridge has fallen) and adding to that a young girl suddenly slept on the stairway around the same time creating a domino effect which created ruckus in the crowd as they started rushing around resulting in a stampede.
GRP officials came to the rescue, but couldn’t do much as they failed to penetrate the heavy crowd. Throwing light on the incident a GRP official said, “The time he reached the spot for rescue it was all over, more GRP officials were later called to help in the rescue operations.”He also added that the probe hasn’t detected any fault of duty from the railway’s side.
On Tuesday it was found that no molestation case has been reported from the site and the media houses who had reported alleged molestation publishing a video of a man touching a dead woman, have now released apologies stating that the man was rather trying to help the woman and not molest. Assistant Commissioner of Police Sunil Deshmukh confirmed that “the man in this incident was helping the victim who got stuck in the railing of the bridge and in the process he had to pull her by her chest to rag her out safely.”