Janmashtami celebrations: 2 killed, several injured in Bengal temple stampede

KOLKATA : At least two people were killed and 14 others were injured in a stampede during Janmashtami celebrations at Baba Loknath Mandir in Kochua village in Basirhat under North 24 Parganas district, West Bengal.

Following the incident which took place late on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the National Medical College, where nine injured persons are undergoing treatment, to take stock of the situation. The Chief Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for those who were critically injured and Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries.

“It is a very unfortunate incident. Deaths can never be compensated, however, there are families who are in loss. Hence, we have announced compensation for them. A sum of Rs 5 lakhs will be granted to the family of the deceased and Rs one lakh for those who are critical,” she said.

Of the nine injured who were brought to the National Medical College, two of them were declared brought dead while another two are still critical.

“The incident happened was sudden, the temple area was over-crowded and since it was raining heavily, some people took shelter in the temporary bamboo stalls which later collapsed and created a panic-like situation. Two were declared brought dead, two others are very critical,” the TMC supremo said.

Others injured in the incident were taken to SSKM hospital, Basirhat hospital among others. One person is also critical at the SSKM hospital.

According to sources, the local administration was not prepared to tackle a huge crowd which is believed to be higher than previous years.

Baba Loknath Mandir at Kochua in Basirhat is one of the great attraction for people in the state.