Six pilgrims, all women, are reported dead in a deadly stampede at The Gangasagar Mela in West Bengal earlier today. The stampede happened on jetty number 5 of Kachuberia area (South24 Parganas) while people were getting on the boat, reported ANI. People died due to suffocation during a sudden rush of the crowds to board a vessel at Kachuberia area on their way home from Gangasagar fair after taking the holy dip.
As per reports, Six injured people were immediately rushed to the Kachuberia temporary hospital, but later died due to heart attack. As per IANS, the mishap occurred as the pilgrims got impatient due to long queue at jetty and later tried to outdo others while boarding the vessel.
Hours later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his condolence for deceased and their families. Taking to Twitter PM Modi also announced that Rs 2 lakh will be given to next kin of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those who were injured in the stampede.
PM approved ex-gratia from PMNRF, of Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of those deceased & Rs. 50,000 for those injured in the stampede in WB.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 15, 2017
The event, also known as Ganga Snan, is an annual gathering of Hindu pilgrims where they take a holy dip in river Ganga before she merges into the Bay of Bengal Sea. The event happens every year during Makar Sankranti at Sagar Island or Sagardwip in West Bengal. The Gangasagar fair that began today will end on January 15, the day after Makar Sankranti.
As per West Bengal Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee, more than 16 lakh pilgrims had gathered to take the holy dip at Gangasagar on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on Saturday and offered puja at the Kapil Muni temple.