Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Friday blamed commuters for the stampede near Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station, saying the incident took place because of overcrowding. At least 22 people died and 39 were injured on Friday morning after a stampede at the British-era foot overbridge between Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations.

“Despite a number of people using the foot overbridge, it did not collapse,” Sinha told reporters. “I don’t think any question has been raised on the structural strength of bridge. The tragedy took place because of the stampede.”

Sinha also urged people to not politicise the incident by criticising the government for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, which was launched on September 15. “Please do not link this to bullet trains,” NDTV quoted Sinha as saying. “No one should politicise this event. We are above politics on the issue.”

Meanwhile, the Western Railway said the unexpected rain on Friday morning had forced people to take shelter at the bridge. “As people were not prepared for the rain, they approached the road to take shelter at the foot overbridge and at the staircase,” Western Railway said in a statement. “This led to overcrowding at the exit.”


Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of those who were killed in the tragedy. He said the government will also bear the medical costs of the injured and announced Rs 1 lakh for those who sustained grievous injuries. Another Rs 50,000 was announced for those who sustained minor injuries.