Indian Railways News

‘When A Mob Panics, You Can’t Think’: Survivor On Mumbai Stampede

A Mumbai commuter who survived the stampede that killed 22 this morning, describes how she kept herself calm amid “panic and chaos and an insane crowd” on a railway bridge at Elphinstone station after just a 20-minute rain. When she somehow managed to come out, she saw bodies.

Shruti Lokre was on the overbridge and saw the crowd suddenly increasing until she couldn’t breathe properly. “It was just a 20-minute rainfall that made people halt. It is a British-era construction that shakes every time a train passes. There was no exit for us, the crowd was carrying you,” she told NDTV on the phone.

“The crowd was increasing, there was no help…We couldn’t breathe, we were falling on each other, there was panic. When a mob panics, you can’t think. I am discounting all the groping because I had to survive. We were trying to get out. There was lack of information and lack of crowd management, then a rumour that the bridge is falling, the bridge is breaking,” she shared.

In tweets, Ms Lokre said: “Before I realised, I was a part of that stampede. Saw bodies being taken out.”

 The stampede took place around 10.30 am, when four trains arrived at the same time and a crowd surged over the narrow bridge connecting the Elphinstone Road and Parel stations. Sudden heavy rain made a bad situation worse, as a few slipped, leading to the tragedy.

Ms Lokre tweeted: “The only way to not give up on hope was to give hope to someone else. It’s gonna be alright, we will make it. Breathe, keep breathing, look that guy is helping us. Don’t worry, I am here. We are in it together. Just few more minutes. This!”

She also commented: “You don’t realise when the mob turns into a stampede. It happens in front of you, you become a part of it. Panic and chaos and insane crowd.”

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has ordered an inquiry. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation to the families of deceased and all the medical expenses of the injured will be borne by government.

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