Confusion between 'Phool' and 'Pul' triggered Elphinstone stampede
A 19-year-old survivor of the Elphinstone stampede has told the inquiry panel that a flower vendor's cry of "phool gir gaya (flowers have fallen)" being mistaken as "pul gir gaya (the bridge has fallen)" might have triggered the panic.
However, a senior railway official said they were yet to ascertain if this was the sole cause of the mishap.
"A woman injured in the stampede told the inquiry panel yesterday that a flower vendor uttered the words 'phool gir gaya', which others mistook for 'pul gir gaya," a senior Western Railway official today said.
She told the inquiry panel that this set off panic among the crowd of people on the stair and they started running, trampling one another, Western Railway's chief spokesperson Ravindra Bhakar said.
Earlier, the Mumbai police has listed two major factors as reasons that led to the deaths at the Elphinstone FOB last week. According to the police report, the factors that reportedly contributed to the stampede was the rain that led commuters to stay put on the over-bridge and the fact that people, who were getting off trains arriving every four minutes, kept adding to the crowd.
On September 29, At least 22 people were killed and several injured in a rush hour stampede on a foot over bridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations in Mumbai.