Tragic Stampede at Adalat Ghat in Patna claims over 20 Lives

A Stampede today at Adalat Ghat(bank of River Ganga) in Patna today took away the lives of about Twenty People, most of whom were children. The stampede was triggered by the collapse of a Bamboo bridge on the River.

Over 1 Million people had gathered at various Ghats to offer prayers to Devi Savita (also called Chhathi Maiya) on the occasion of 4 day festival of Chhath.

According to a report in TOI, Police has confirmed 14 deaths till 8pm. City SP Jayantkant was quoted saying nine children were among the 14 dead. The number of people injured was stated to be over 50 and has been rushed to nearby Patna Medical college Hospital and other private nursing homes. However, today being a general holiday in the city, there is an acute shortage of doctors and paramedical staff.

Dead Bodies after Chhath Ghat Stampede

Over 20 People feared Dead in the Stampede that broke out after Chhath Puja at Adalat Ghat Patna

A district administration official said the incident took place when people were returning after offering prayers around sunset at Adalatganj ghat.

“This shocking incident took place after a temporary bridge made of bamboo collapsed due to heavy rush of people, mainly devotees and their family members,” a police official said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the incident and announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the next of kin of each of those killed, a district official said.

Hundreds of angry people, mostly relatives of the victims, protested against the government and shouted slogans against the chief minister and local administration at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), where all the bodies were brought for post mortem and the injured were admitted for treatment.

Dead Bodies after Adalat Ghat Stampede

A grieving man sits among the Dead Bodies of his Family Members

Satnarain Singh, a relative of a victim, told IANS that what shocked him and others was that there was no doctor in the emergency ward of the hospital.

“Those seriously injured in the incident were at the mercy of God as doctors were not available in the emergency ward,” he said.

Sensing trouble after the incident, a large number of security personnel were deployed at the hospital and at different places in Patna.

District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh and Superintendent of Police Jayant Kant were camping at the hospital.

According to another source,  the deaths were mainly the result of a stampede caused by a Power Cut that threw the area into darkness and not the collapse of the low-slung bamboo-and-rope bridge.

The temporary bridge had been constructed to enable devotees to reach the main bank, as the river has shifted its course away from the original bank.

“Between the river bank and the main course, there is a shallow stretch of dirty water, which is unfit for ‘Chhath’ rituals, said an official.

Opposition Rashtyriya Janata Dal blamed the state government for the incident.

Leader of opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who met the injured at the hospital, criticised the negligence over treatment of the injured.

Over four lakh people from Patna and nearby areas gathered at different ghats here for Chhath celebration.

Celebrated six days after Diwali, Chhath is dedicated to the Sun god. During the festival, married women observe fast for 36 hours, and devotees offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the Sun god.