Hospital staff move a stretcher with an injured man after a train struck members of a crowd seated on tracks in Amritsar, India, Oct. 19, 2018.
Hospital staff move a stretcher with an injured man after a train struck members of a crowd seated on tracks in Amritsar, India, Oct. 19, 2018.

A speeding train ran over members of a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in northern India on Friday, killing at least 60 people and injuring dozens more, police said.

The accident occurred on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state that is 465 kilometers (290 miles) north of New Delhi.

Police Commissioner S.S. Srivastava said police had found 60 bodies so far. Thirty bodies had been removed from the site by Friday evening.

An angry crowd shouts slogans beside the body of a
An angry crowd shouts slogans beside the body of a victim of a train accident in Amritsar, India, Oct. 19, 2018.

At least 50 injured were admitted to a government-run hospital, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Rajesh Sharma, a magistrate, as saying.

There was no railroad ministry statement on the accident.

Hundreds of people were watching the burning of an effigy of demon Ravana during the Hindu festival of Dussehra. As the effigy was lit and the fireworks started at the religious function, a section of the crowd started retreating toward railroad tracks while watching the event. 

Amritsar India
Amritsar India

Press Trust said two trains arrived from the opposite direction on separate tracks at the same time, giving people little chance to escape. One train caused the casualties, Press Trust quoted officials as saying, and Pratap Singh Bajwa of the state-governing Congress party said it failed to stop after the accident.

One witness said the victims didn't realize that a train was coming their way because the fireworks were too loud.

Shatrughan Das, an injured 35-year-old factory worker, said he was sitting close to the railroad track while watching the fireworks: "I didn't see the train coming. I fell unconscious. I saw the police taking me to a hospital as I regained consciousness.''

Following the accident, people rushed to the site and shouted at railway officials for not taking precautions.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely saddened by the train accident. "Have asked officials to provide immediate assistance that is required,'' he tweeted.

A man injured in a train accident receives treatme
A man injured in a train accident receives treatment at a hospital in Amritsar, India, Oct. 19, 2018.

Navjot Kaur Siddhu, a local Congress party politician who was the chief guest at the religious function, said the celebrations take place in the area every year and railroad authorities are alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

A large number of people live in the area with homes on both sides of the railroad track, she said.

While accidents are relatively common on India's sprawling rail network, Friday's was among the deadliest in recent years. In 2016, 146 people were killed when a train slid off railroad tracks in eastern India.

Child Marriage