32 killed, 50 injured in stampede during Dussehra celebrations in Patna

NetIndian News Network

Patna, October 3, 2014

32 killed in stampede in Patna
At least 32 people died and more than 50 others suffered injuries in a stampede that occurred during the "Ravan Dahan" ceremony on the occasion of Dussehra at Gandhi Maidan in Patna this evening.
The tragedy occurred around 7 pm when thousands of people were present at the ground to witness the burning of Ravana's effigy at the end of Navratri.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Patna Medical College Hospital where the injured were rushed in ambulances and other vehicles as hundreds of angry relatives of the victims gathered outside its gates.
The Bihar government has ordered an inquiry by the Principal Secretary, Home into the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and reviewed the situation arising out of the stampede.
Mr Modi condoled the loss of lives in the incident and sanctioned Rs 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those who have suffered critical injuries from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
Bihar Principal Secretary, Home, Amir Subhani confirmed to mediapersons that at least 32 people had died in the stampede.
Several of the victims were women and children and many of them had died due to suffocation, sources said.
Some media reports said that the stampede took place after a rumour spread that a live electric wire had snapped and fallen to the ground. Several of those at the venue started rushing to the exit gate, leading to the stampede, they said. Poor lighting added to the confusion, they said.
Police and teams of the Rapid Action Force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed to the scene to help in the rescue efforts.
Officials told reporters that the stampede occurred because the crowds had become unmanageable.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed shock over the tragedy and said she was "dismayed" by the loss of lives.

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