What caused Elphinstone stampede: 'Rains, rumors'; clean chit to rail officials

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The high-level inquiry was initiated after Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal had ordered probe into the stampede on September 29 itself.

The Railways Ministry on Wednesday absolved itself of all responsibility in the Elphinstone Road Station bridge collapse in Mumbai that killed 23 people last month, blaming the weather gods instead for tragedy.

Other recommendations by the panel include relocating the elevated booking office to widen the staircase, which is now located adjacent to it.

"Constant flow of passengers arriving at the station compounded the problem", the official said quoting from the report.

The report has recommended that during peak hours passengers should not be allowed to carry heavy luggage at the local train stations.

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Washington has dismissed claims it was involved as a ludicrous conspiracy theory and Gulen himself denies any link to the plot. Within minutes, Turkey's embassy in Washington issued a similar suspension of visa services in the US.

The panel has recommended some multi-level coordination and preventive measures like better communication of all agencies with railways, station masters and other staffers to be equipped with wireless handsets.

The committee examined all the matters pertaining to the incident including the evidence from the witnesses, the written statement of injured persons, Railway officials of Elphinstone road station and analysis of footages of all the CCTV cameras installed at the station including those located on the foot over bridge (FOB).

Bhakar also said simultaneously another multi- disciplinary team is conducting an audit of all the suburban stations and it is expected to submit its report soon, after which the department will take action. According to officials, the committee has also been asked to recommend ways to ensure that such delays do not occur again. The court asked why they woke up to the "serious and sensitive" issue only after the death of so many people.

In the unfortunate incident, 23 people had lost their lives.

Twenty-Three people were killed and over 39 were seriously injured in a rush-hour stampede at Mumbai's Elphinstone railway station's foot over bridge on September 29.

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