Mumbai, Oct 11: An inquiry conducted by the Western Railway probe panel blamed the heavy rainfall on September 29 that caused the stampede on the narrow Elphinstone Bridge in Mumbai that took the toll of 23 lives.
The probe panel headed by the Western Railway Chief Security Officer submitted its report on Wednesday to the WR General Manager Anil Kumar. They recorded the statements of 30 people injured in that unfortunate incident, PTI reported.
The report pointed that because of the heavy rainfall, people standing outside at the ticket counters were forced to rush to the already overcrowded staircases to save them from the rains. With this rush people with heavy luggage lost their balance and this might have caused the stampede.
None of the witnesses supported the claim of a short circuit on the bridge leading to the chaos, the report said.
The probe panel has recommended that passengers be prevented from carrying heavy luggage during peak hours. The movement of commuters, mainly vendors, carrying baskets stuffed with goods during peak hours should also be restricted.
Other recommendations of the panel include relocating the elevated booking office to widen the staircase (the elevated booking office is adjacent to the staircase where the stampede occurred). An additional staircase can also be provided, it said.
The panel suggested that officials use a quick mode of communication apart from mobile phones to ensure timely reaction. Wireless handsets can be provided to station and security staff, it said.