Six Killed in Puri Rath Yatra Stampede

Six Killed in Puri Rath Yatra Stampede

Times of India

PURI, Jul 4: Six pilgrims, including three women, were on Friday killed and several injured in a stampede outside the Sri Jagannath temple here during the annual Rathayatra festival. ( Watch )

The incident took place in front of the Lion's Gate when the deities Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra were being taken out of the temple for a traditional procession.

As the idol of Subhadra was being taken out by the priests, women and children standing near the chariot were pushed from behind by those accompanying the deity and fell down, police said.

"We have received six bodies so far. All the victims are aged between 40 years to 50 years... They might have died due to stampede or suffocation," chief district medical officer, (Puri) Trilocan Baral said.

The death toll could rise as the condition of three injured who were rushed to the S C B Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack was reported to be serious.

The identity of the deceased is yet to be established.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was in the town to witness the festival, ordered an administrative inquiry into the incident.

"A member of the board of revenue will probe into the incident," he said.

An ex-gratia of Rs one lakh would be paid by the government to the families of each pilgrim who died in the stampede, he said.

He also visited the hospital where injured were admitted and instructed the district health authorities to immediately send the seriously injured persons to hospitals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The government would bear the cost of treatment of the injured, official sources said.


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