The Wire has deleted its controversial video on the Amritsar Train Tragedy by journalist Abhisar Sharma. The video discussed “the role the absence of a top light might have played in the tragic train accident in Amritsar that has claimed nearly 60 lives” which “may have rendered the driver blind or could have hampered his sight of what lay ahead on the tracks”.
In the video, Sharma had argued that the top light of the DMU train that ran over the victims in Amritsar was not functioning. However, as it turned out, the train did not have a top light at all, therefore the question of it not functioning does not arise. Moreover, Sharma showed the same train running during the day with a top light. But, he failed to mention that there are two models of the train and the train that ran over victims in Amritsar was not the same as the one that he showed running during the day.
Abhisar Sharma also disregarded the fact that most modern trains have bus-like headlamps below the windshield.
Hey Sherlock, this is the locomotive of TGV, world’s fastest train. See where its lights are. I guess the French engineers didn’t put the lights there just randomly. pic.twitter.com/4blK67j0Xd
— Raju Das | ৰাজু দাস (@rajudasonline) October 21, 2018
A simple image search shows that most modern locomotives have bus like headlamps, below the windscreen. Both high speed passenger and heavy haul cargo locomotives.
— Raju Das | ৰাজু দাস (@rajudasonline) October 22, 2018
As a clarification, Sharma says, “The design of the Jalandhar Amritsar DMU shown in the video is not the latest model but this raises a bigger question that even if the model of this train does not have a top light, it does not augur well for the security of the people on the railway tracks. The DMU involved in the mishap was hauled by a loco that does not have a top light. It has a lookout glass and twin beam headlight below the lookout glass. The people on the track cannot see the train unless it has a top light from a distance.”
Having a train is detrimental to the people on track. Ban trains. (The light is there for the train driver to see tracks properly, not meant for idiot journos to spot trains) pic.twitter.com/blMtvYlxZC
— Ram (@ramprasad_c) October 22, 2018
The clarification appears to be a desperate attempt at saving face as his argument seems laughable at best. Firstly, people are not supposed to walk on railway tracks or stand there in large crowds to watch an event.
Secondly, there is the extremely loud whistle of the train. Thirdly, if all else fails, the sound of a train moving at full speed combined with the vibrations on the track that indicates an approaching train is quite impossible to ignore. And lastly, even though the DMU train that hit the victims did not have a top light, it did have a front light.