On September 29, 2017, 23 people were killed and 39 injured after a stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone railway station foot over bridge. The bridge is crowded most of the time, more so during rush hours. The incident took place at 9.30 a.m. during heavy rains, which caused the stampede. The incident also took place during Dussehra, (a festival) and many women were wearing sarees. While the victims were being rescued, several sarees tore under the weight of the bodies.
Among the victims in this stampede was a woman who was allegedly molested by a bystander while she lay in a pile of bodies, suffocating and dying. A video was recorded of the incident and has been circulating on social media ever since. The woman can be seen extending her right hand out, asking for help before dropping her hand and taking her last breath.
According to Jayshree Kanade, an eye-witness of the stampede has reported to the Hindu that, “many people stole purses and gold ornaments from the women victims. This molestation video is really shameful. How can someone molest a girl fighting for her life and asking for help? The culprits should be punished.” There were also civilians trying to help.
The very same bridge was sanctioned to be widened in 2015 by the then railway Minister. It was the lax attitude of the local railway administration in implementing the project that has led to the stampede and death of 23 people. The project cost about 12 crores and could have been implemented in the last 18 months.
Several residents of Mumbai tweeted to the authorities prior to the stampede that Parel and Elphinstone were disasters waiting to happen.
In other news, a schoolgirl committed suicide after her teacher and principal harassed her over menstrual stains.