Patna: In a tragic incident in Bihar, a stampede took place at a ghat the Adalat Ganj area in Patna during the Chhath festival on Monday. At least 20 people were feared dead while several others got injured during the stampede.
The injured were rushed to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH). The stampede was triggered after a bridge made of bamboo collapsed due to heavy rush.
An eyewitness said that there was no assistance from the administration. He said that several lives could have been saved if the administration had been quick in its response.
"Suddenly there was a stampede and it was difficult to control the situation. The organisers did not render any assistance. The devotees who came here came to the rescue of people. Had the organisers been a little prompt to act, many lives would have been saved," he said.
Another eyewitness said that mostly the elderly and women had died in the stampede. He further said, "When people were dying, I had called the police many times but we received no response from their end."
Reacting to the stampede, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar termed it as an unfortunate incident and appealed for calm. He further announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed in the stampede.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi also condoled the death of the devotees.
People in large numbers hold Chhath puja at river banks and the festival is celebrated across Bihar. Chhath, celebrated six days after Diwali, is a time for worship of the Sun god.
During the festival, devotees observe a fast for 36 hours and devotees offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the Sun. The festival began on Saturday, and will end on Tuesday.