Injured people being taken to National Medical College and hospital after a stampede occurred on the occasion of Janmashtami at the Loknath Temple, in Kolkata. Photograph:( ANI )
In the wee hours of Friday morning at around 3 am, the boundary wall leading to the Baba Loknath Temple collapsed on the pilgrims while it was raining heavily.
A stampede occurred amidst Janmashtami celebrations at a temple in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Friday leaving at least five people dead and 27 grievously injured.
In the wee hours of Friday morning at around 3 am, the boundary wall leading to the Kachua Loknath Temple collapsed on the pilgrims while it was raining heavily. The wall collapse then led to a stampede.
Following the incident, the trapped people were removed immediately and rushed several hospitals including, Basirhat Hospital, National Medical College and SSKM hospital.
Five persons were declared dead on arrival while as many as 27 others are undergoing treatment. Out of the 27, five are in a critical state.
While BJP claimed that the district administration failed to take sufficient precautionary measures to avoid a stampede, the district administration blamed overcrowding and inclement weather leading to the stampede.
"Kumbh Mela is conducted without any fatalities. Here, we saw how a small gathering could not be controlled and led to a stampede. The district administration is responsible for the stampede," said Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh.
Hours after the stampede, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the two hospitals in Kolkata to meet the family members of the deceased and ensured the treatment to the injured.
"It is extremely unfortunate. I am told it was raining heavily and people were taking cover when suddenly the boundary wall leading to the temple collapsed. We are ensuring all treatment to the deceased and have ordered an enquiry into the incident," Banerjee said.
"Compensation has been announced for the deceased. Medical expenses are being borne by the government. My condolences to family members of those who passed away and prayers for the injured to recover soon," she added.
Under the announced compensation for the deceased and injured, five lack rupees will be given to the deceased and one lack rupees to the seriously injured and, fifty thousand rupees to the injured.