Falling Concrete Caused Panic, Then a Deadly Stampede

22 lost their lives on Indian pedestrian bridge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2017 4:18 AM CDT
22 Die in Train Station Stampede
Policemen stand guard at the pedestrian bridge where a stampede took place at the Elphinstone station, in Mumbai, India, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

A stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two railway stations in Mumbai during the Friday morning rush, and at least 22 people were killed in the crush while another 27 were injured, officials say. When falling concrete hit the bridge railing, people in the crowd thought the bridge would collapse and surged to escape, Mumbai police official Gansham Patel says. People had been crowding under the canopy covering the bridge to escape heavy rains, making the deadly tragedy worse, says lawmaker Shaina Nana Chudasama of the governing Bhartiya Janata Party.

Commuters often complain about street-sellers hawking their wares on the narrow overpass, the AP reports. The pedestrian bridge connected two local Mumbai railway stations—Elphinstone and Parel. As Mumbai police appealed to citizens to donate blood to help the injured, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the families of those killed. "Prayers with those who are injured," he tweeted. Separately, in the southern city of Bangalore, two people were killed in another stampede as hundreds of people jostled to obtain coupons for free food offered by a local philanthropist, police say. The philanthropist has been detained for questioning. (More India stories.)

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