18 killed in Mumbai stampede

18 killed in Mumbai stampede

Eighteen people were killed and around 50 injured in a stampede that occurred after midnight on Saturday in a narrow lane in South Mumbai’s Malabar Hill neighbourhood.

The tragedy occurred when mourners had gathered to pay their last respects to Dawoodi Bohra community leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, who died on Friday.

Eyewitnesses said they estimated one lakh people had gathered in the high-security lane to Syedna’s residence Saifee Mahal, adjacent to the Maharashtra chief minister’s official residence.

The sudden flooding of people in the narrow road with only one traffic lane at the Saifee Mahal gate led to a stampede, resulting in people being suffocated and crushed to death. Several others escaped with injuries, a few being major ones.

Of the 50 injured, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said only three continued to be admitted to Saifee Hospital run by the Dawoodi Bohra Trust. All others were discharged by Saturday morning.

The stampede took place between 1:30 and 2:30 am on Saturday, a few hours before the scheduled funeral procession was to wind its way down to nearby Bhendi Bazaar. Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil ordered a probe into the incident.

Men in flowing white robes and women in coloured burkhas gathered in thousands, wailing as they approached the jammed neon-lit street leading to the community leader’s residence.

The police commissioner admitted that the tragedy could have been avoided if there were better preparations and security measures in place.

He attributed the police’s lapse to this being a funeral gathering. “Since it was an emotional issue the force was reluctant and hesitant to tell the community chiefs standing at the Saifee Mahal gate who were opening and closing the gates haphazardly,” he said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry