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Western Railway to gauge number of people on FOB

Published : Oct 8, 2017, 1:40 am IST
Updated : Oct 8, 2017, 1:41 am IST

CCTV footage of stampede to be compared to footage from any monsoon day.

23 were killed after a stampede broke out on the Elphinstone Road station FOB on September 29.
 23 were killed after a stampede broke out on the Elphinstone Road station FOB on September 29.

Mumbai: Western Railway (WR) will now count the number of umbrellas that appear in the CCTV footage of the day of the stampede at the Elphinstone Road station. These will be compared to the number of umbrellas visible on any normal monsoon day in order to gauge if the number of people on the foot over bridge on September 29 were more than usual, said a railway source. This is expected to help in the investigations as it will give authorities a rough idea about the number of people present on the FOB on that fateful day.

The Western Railway (WR) has asked the Railway Police Force (RPF), who possesses the CCTV footage from the cameras that were placed on the stairs, to count the umbrellas.

It has been difficult for WR to ascertain the exact number of people on the Parel-Elphinstone FOB at the time of the incident. An officer from WR said, “We are only guessing at the number of people present on the FOB during the incident. We have not been able to gauge the exact number of individuals on the stairs, and whether the crowd was more than the usual number, say on any given monsoon day at Elphinstone.”  As a result of this ambiguity, officials are hoping that counting the number of umbrellas may do the trick. “Even if we get a rough idea of how many people were there on the bridge, it will also help us in deciding what the length and breadth of an FOB that would be needed to accommodate this kind of a crowd, especially during peak hours,” the official added.

The railway and RPF officials have estimated that around 9,000 people were present on the bridge as two to three trains had arrived in gaps of about three to four minutes on the line towards Churchgate and Virar. Meanwhile, the CCTV footage on the stairs is said to be quite disturbing in nature and has been kept under lock and key.

Tags: western railway, elphinstone road station, elphinstone road station stampede, railway police force (rpf)