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Stampede at Chhath Puja in Patna, 21 killed Last Updated : 20 Nov 2012 09:23:33 AM IST File photo
At least twenty people, including nine children, were killed and many others injured on Monday in a stampede at a Chhat Puja site at Adalatganj ghat on the bank of the river Ganges in Patna.
Bihar Chief Secretary A K Sinha told a press conference late tonight that the incident, which occured at around 1900 hours, claimed ten lives.
He said bodies of four children and a woman were kept at Patna Medical College Hospital.
Earlier in the day, Senior Superintendent of Police (SP), City, Jayant Kant, had put the toll at 14.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the deaths did not take place due to bridge collapse but because of the stampede.
The stampede broke out as the devotees, returning home after the 'Arghya' at the ghat to the Sun God, tried to rush out of a narrow makeshift bridge and approach a wider pontoon bridge by climbing steep stairs at the bank, Sinha said.
Kumar said the incident should not be politicized and sought the people's cooperation in providing medical aid to the injured.
His remarks came after some of the relatives of the injured smashed the glasses at the emergency ward of Patna Medical College Hospital protesting inadequate treatment, after which the doctors left the hospital.
Kumar said the doctors, however, returned following the intervention of the Principal Secretary (Health) and the DGP.
He said a thorough probe has been ordered into the incident and if any loopholes are found in the arrangements made at the ghat for the Chhat festival, action would be taken against the people responsible for it.
The Chief Minister announced Rs. two lakh compensation to the next of kin of the victims, an official spokesman said.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the tragedy during the Chhat Puja celebrations in Patna on Monday.
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