Dusshera celebrations in Amritsar turned into mourning on Friday as over 50 people were killed and many injured when a train ran over them in Jora Phatak near Amritsar.
A crowd had gathered on railway tracks in the city of Amritsar in Punjab state to watch a fireworks show marking the Dussehra festival when the train barrelled down the line at speed.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, reacting to the incident tweeted, "Rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief & rescue in tragic rail accident on Dussehra in Amritsar".
Deepak Kumar, spokesperson for Indian Railways, which operates the national rail system, confirmed that there was only one train involved in the accident.
An eyewitness has told news agency ANI that a train travelling at a fast speed ran over several people during Dussehra celebrations, in Choura Bazar near Amritsar.
"Out of nowhere came the train", said a man, sounding angry.
He also directed the chief secretary to deploy administrative officials to ensure that the injured people are hospitalised immediately. Authorities have rushed to the spot of the accident.
Shatrughan Das, an injured 35-year-old factory worker, said he was sitting close to the railroad track watching the fireworks.
Last November, 13 coaches of an express train derailed in the north of the country, killing three people and leaving another nine with injuries.
According to Amritsar Police Commissioner SS Srivastava, "The exact number of casualties is unconfirmed but it is definitely more than 50-60".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the incident on Twitter. "District authorities have been mobilised on war footing".
"The tragedy is heart-wrenching".
The accident occurred near Amritsar in Punjab.
Modi said he has asked officials to provide immediate assistance.
'My deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones and I pray that the injured recover quickly'.