In a stampede at Rajghat bridge between Varanasi and Chandauli, at least 19 people were killed on Saturday afternoon. The incident took place when thousands of followers of religious leader Jai Gurudev were on their way to Domri village on the banks of Ganga to take part in the two-day camp, police said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences after the tragedy to the families of those who lost their lives in the Varanasi stampede that killed at least 19 and injured several others. “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the stampede in Varanasi. Condolences to the bereaved families. Prayers with those injured,” he said. He further said that official measures have been taken to deal with the situation. “I have spoken to officials & asked them to ensure all possible help to those affected due to the stampede in Varanasi,” said PM Modi.
Here’s a look at all other stampedes that have caused a grave loss of life in the past.
Two women were killed and 21 people injured in a stampede Sunday at the main gate of the Kanshi Ram Smarak Sthal after BSP chief Mayawati addressed a huge gathering there to mark party founder Kanshi Ram’s tenth death anniversary. Eyewitnesses said that the stampede, which started when people were leaving the venue after Mayawati’s speech, left several lying unconscious on the ground.
On February 8, four people in Tamil Nadu died after drowning as a stampede broke out in the Tiruvannamalai temple. It was early in the day, as thousands of pilgrims tried to join the priests surging towards the temple pond as part of ‘Mahodhaya Punniya Kalatheeravari’, an auspicious day ritual that occurs only once in 30 years. The stampede was caused because the authorities failed to estimate the number of pilgrims before hand, and the situation went beyond control when the rituals started. One of the priests carrying the deity, as part of the procession, was among the four deceased.
Two people were killed and more than 20 injured in a stampede after fire broke out in Murshidabad Medical College on August 28. The fire was reportedly caused by a short circuit in the AC machine. Both the deceased were part of the nursing staff, who were killed in the stampede that ensued after people tried to escape from the fire. There were more than 5,000 people on the hospital premises when the incident occurred. The emergency gate of the hospital was reportedly closed, so patients and hospital staff had to use only one staircase while trying to escape. It has been alleged that the fire alarm at the hospital was not functioning. The West Bengal government later called for a CID probe into the incident and declared a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of both victims and free treatment for the injured.
Around 50,000 aspirants showed up for an Indian Navy recruitment drive on September 9, overwhelming the authorities and leading to a stampede. Four people were injured as chaos broke out at INS Hamla, Malad. Officials admitted that though they were expecting a good response to the drive recruiting senior secondary recruits, the response was overwhelming and crowd control created a bit of confusion in the early hours. The situation was soon brought under control. A Navy spokesperson lauded the local police and Navy officials for handling the situation very efficiently.
In Patna, a crowd was returning after watching a Dussehra event where effigies of Raavan were burnt at Gandhi Maidan. A huge crowd had gathered to witness the event. 32 people died in the stampede that followed the effigy burning ceremony.
Dawoodi Bohra spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin died on January 17, 2014. His supporters gathered around his house to mourn him. At around 1.30 am, the gates to the leader’s Malabar Hill residence were opened and the crowds slammed in, leading to a stampede. 18 people died while 56 others were injured.
Ratangarh Mata Temple, October 2013
During the Navratri festival in Datia district in Madhya Pradesh, a stampede broke out on a bridge near the Ratangarh Mata Temple. At around 9 am in the morning, nearly 26000 devotees thronged the bridge when a rumour was floated that the bridge may collapse. This ensued chaos and subsequent stampede, killing 115 people and injuring more than 110.