The driver of the train which killed at least 59 people and injured 57 others on Friday in Amritsar, has given a written statement in his defence. The driver, Arvind Kumar, claimed that he had honked at the crowd from 300 metres but people could not hear it due to loud sounds of the burning Ravana effigy and accompanied crackers.
In the letter, the driver said that he had applied emergency brakes of the train, but they failed to stop the train before it hit the crowd.
Kumar claimed that when the train slowed down to stop, gathered crowd started pelting stones on the train. “With an eye on the safety of the passengers of the train I had to keep driving and take the train to ASR station (Amritsar).” He said he had informed his superiors about the situation immediately.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed the Amritsar administration to prepare detailed socio-economic profiles of victims.
Singh, who met some of the survivors in hospitals Saturday, was particularly moved by tales of two young women who lost their entire family including children and husbands, and in one case her in-laws, an official release said.