PATNA: At least 32 people have died and 15 others are injured after a stampede in Patna after Dussehra celebrations this evening
Officials say there are about 25 women and five children in those killed.
The incident occurred at a narrow road outside the landmark Gandhi Maidan as people were returning after watching Dussehra celebrations.
Eyewitnesses say the stampede started after two people spread a rumour that an electrical wire had snapped off and fallen down. The administration, however, has not confirmed this.
Dussehra celebrations at the Gandhi Maidan are the biggest in Patna and at least 50,000 people turn up every year to watch the burning of gigantic effigies here.
The event is organised jointly by the district administration and a private organiser. Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manji was also present at the Gandhi Maidan for the celebrations.
Reports suggest not all gates of the venue were open for the huge number of people who were leaving. The lighting too was very poor.
Officials say some people fainted during the stampede and were rushed to the Patna Medical College Hospital, which is just two kilometres away.
“People have dispersed from the spot now. A few dozen people could be injured. Senior officials are at the hospital including the Health Secretary and treatment is being ensured,” said Amir Subhani, Home Secretary, Bihar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned Rs. 2 lakh each for the next of those killed, and Rs. 50,000 for those critically injured.
A huge crowd is now building up outside the hospital, with many anxious people waiting to hear any news about their relatives.