Saturday, October 4, 2014

32 killed, 50 injured in stampede during Dussehra celebrations in Patna's Gandhi Maidan


PATNA: 32 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a stampede near Gandhi Maidan on Friday evening after the Ravan vadh programme which was a part of Dussehra celebrations.

Principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani said 32 people have died and the casualty figure may rise. Even two hours after the tragedy. many people were seen frantically searching for those who were missing. Most of those killed were women and children.

Patna DM Manish Verma confirmed the casualties and said over 15 injured people were being treated at Patna Medical College Hospital.

The stampede took place around 6.30pm when a big crowd began leaving the maidan. The incident happened near the Ram Goolam Chowk near the Exhibition Road turning. Some eyewitnesses were heard saying that a rumour spread about a naked livewire that was lying on the road which created panic among the people who started running helter-skelter. Most of the deaths occurred after people fell on the road and were crushed. There was very little light at the place where the stampede occurred.

Two years ago, many lives were lost during a stampede on one of the lanes leading to to the river Ganga during Chhath festival in Patna.

Meanwhile, the Bihar government has ordered an inquiry by the home secretary and ADG of police (headquarters) and announced ex gratia of Rs 3 lakh to the kin of each victim.

Helpline number: 0612-2219810.

About 50 voluntary blood donors are ready to help at Patna Medical College Hospital. They can be contacted on 9308393446.



Slippers and shoes seen strewn on a 500 metre stretch as people tried to flee (Pic courtesy: ANI on Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Bihar chief minister to inquire about the stampede. He sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each for the next of those killed.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed "shock and grief" over the deaths and injuries in a stampede in Patna.

"Dismayed at the unfortunate incident, Gandhi expressed the hope that the injured are being adequately attended to and conveyed her condolences to the families of those who passed away," a Congress statement said.


Scene of the stampede in Patna (PTI Photo)

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