Kolkata, Aug 23: At least two persons were killed and 26 injured after a wall of a temple collapsed leading to a stampede at Kachua in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal mid night last night.
According to reports, a large number of people had gathered there to celebrate Janmashtami in Loknath Baba’s temple. However, the sudden collapse of the temple wall triggered a stampede which ended in tragedy.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to National Medical College and Hospital and SSKM Hospital where the injured were admitted and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased.
A compensation of Rs 1 lakh has also been announced for those critically injured in the incident, while people with minor injuries would be given Rs 50,000. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said nine people were brought to the National Medical College of whom two were brought dead. And two others were extremely critical.
She said there was heavy rain at the time of the incident which caused many visitors to take shelter in small makeshift shops on the side of a narrow road leading to the temple. Ms Banerjee said on the other side of the narrow road there is a pond and when these makeshift shops collapsed, some people fell into the pond during the stampede.
“There was huge crowd at Kachua and the number of visitors was much higher this time. There was heavy rain at that time and hence many tried to take shelter in nearby temporary roadside shops. Some also fell into a roadside pond. A stampede-like situation occurred there and since the area was small many were unable to come out. There was a pond on one side and the small shops on the other side,” she told media persons at the National Medical College Hospital in Kolkata.
The Chief Minister said the rescue operations are being carried out on the spot. Senior Ministers have been sent to Barasat Hospital, RG Kar Medical College and a hospital at Basirhat. '' Rescue operation is the prime objective now. I am personally monitoring the situation,'' Ms Banerjee said. UNI