Over 100 killed in stampede at 'satsang' in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras

According to the sources, the number of dead could increase as many of the injured were stated to be in critical condition.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 11:12 IST

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Lucknow: At least 116 people, including women and children, were killed and scores others injured in a stampede at a religious congregation in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district, about 400 kilometres from here, on Tuesday.

According to the sources, the number of dead could increase as many of the injured were stated to be in critical condition. Unofficial sources put the death toll at 120. The majority of those killed were elderly people, women and children, sources said.

District magistrate of Etah confirmed 50 to 60 deaths. He said that a majority of the dead were women. A senior official however said that 107 people had died in the incident.

Sources said that a religious congregation was organised at Phulrai village in the district in which a large number of devotees were present. There was a stampede at the end of the congregation when hundreds of devotees tried to leave the venue together.

"Many women and children were trampled under the feet of the onrushing devotees.....their cries went unheard in the chaos," said a report quoting an eye witness who was present there.

The reports said that thousands of devotees had assembled at the congregation. The hall in which the devotees had assembled was small and the exit was also too narrow to allow many people to go out together.

Most of the devotees, who attended the congregation, hailed from the nearby villages and other states, sources said. Some reports said that many devotees had fainted owing to the heat.

Some reports said that the organisers closed one of the exits to allow the cavalcade of the priest narrator Sarkar Vishwahari Bhole Baba which resulted in increased pressure on the other exit.

The injured were taken to the medical college hospital in Etah, sources said, adding that the district administration had rushed teams of doctors to the hospital to treat the injured. Police force from the nearby police stations had also been rushed to the spot to assist in the relief and rescue operations.

Senior officials had reached the spot and relief and rescue operations were going on in full swing. "Many of the injured are in critical condition....doctors are attending to them," said an official in Hathras.

A large number of relatives of the victims had gathered outside the hospital. The administration has announced helpline numbers.

A high level committee was formed to investigate the cause of the stampede, officials said. Sources said that the district administration had granted permission for the event.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief over the incident and has directed the officials to provide the best medical care to the injured. The state government has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs two lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased.

Published 02 July 2024, 11:12 IST

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