Six die at 'stampede' in Ganga Sagar Mela, West Bengal

In a tragic incident, six Gangasagar pilgrims died in stampede in Kochuberia jetty in West Bengal. The stampede happened on jetty number 5 of Kachuberia area (South24 Parganas) while people were getting on the boat, reported ANI. A long queue of people had gathered at the spot and sensing delay in reaching their homes, the crowd got impatient and tried to board the vessel all at once, which resulted in the stampede.

According to sources, at least seven others were injured or fell sick due to the incident and are being treated in nearby hospitals.

The pilgrims were in a rush to board the vessels which would ferry them to state capital Kolkata, located about 100 kms from Kachuberia.

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A search has been launched by naval divers to find out anyone else who might have fallen into the Buriganga river, a tributary of the Hooghly river, during the stampede, district officials told PTI. Hindu pilgrims come together to take a holy dip in River Ganga before she merges with the Bay of Bengal.

The devotees were returning to Kolkata after taking a holy dip at Gangasagar in West Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti yesterday. The vessel operations were on a halt due to high tides for a couple of hours. As its is the biggest fair in West Bengal, coast guard officials, the Army, the NDRF, the marine police to the state government machinery and several hundred security personnel were deployed in the Sagar island.

More details are awaited.

  • Adam Floyd