In a tragic incident today at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna, at least 32 people has been reported to be killed in the stampede after Dussehra celebration at the venue. There are several others who are injured and admitted to Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) in Patna. The stampede happened when the crowd was leaving Gandhi Maidan around 6:30 PM today after the Ravan Vadh program ended. The fateful incident happened near Ram Gulam Chowk situated in Exhibition road, not far away from the southern exit gate of the Gandhi Maidan. Most of the victims are women and children. The function was attended by several dignitaries including Chief Minister of Bihar, who had left the venue before the incident happened.
The initial report suggest that the people leaving the venue near the Exhibition road exit were panicked when a rumour spread about a naked live wire lying on the road. This created chaos among the people, leading to stampede. The State government has confirmed the death of 32 people as of now. The toll is likely to rise. The stampede came barely two years after the Chhath stampede in which many people were killed. The state government has ordered an inquiry into the incident and announced ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh to the kin of each victim.
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The big ground of Gandhi Maidan is famous for the Ravan Vadh ceremony held every year on Vijyadashami. Thousands of people flock to see the event. Though the ground is huge and there are several exit gates, yet a stampede of this magnitude raises serious concern over the safety and security of the people during such functions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. He spoke to the Bihar CM to inquire about the stampede. He sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each for the next of those killed. Several other leaders have also expressed condolences on the incident.