Four killed in Allahabad railway station stampede
A cane charge-prompted stampede preceded the incident at 7.15 p.m.
on platform number 6 of the railway station in the city which
hosted over three crore devotees at the Kumbh Mela during the day,
At least 36 people were killed and over a dozen injured in an
stampede following the collapse of an overbridge railing at the
Allahabad railway station Sunday owing to the Kumbh Mela rush, an
official said Monday.
"Thirty six people have been killed and more than a dozen people
injured at the Allahabad station stampede. We have identified 20
of those killed, including 14 women and six men. Sixteen others
are yet to be identified," a state government official said.
"We have set up a helpline at the Delhi railway station," Railway
Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had told reporters in Delhi late
Though the minister did not specify the cause of the accident, he
denied the claim of state government officials and said the
railing of the over bridge did not break.
"As per my information, the railing did not break...we are trying
to verify this," Bansal said.
A cane charge-prompted stampede preceded the tragedy at 7.15 p.m.
on platform numbers 5 and 6 of the Allahabad railway station,
which hosted over three crore (30 million) devotees at the Kumbh
Mela's biggest bathing day of 'Mauni Amavasya', district officials
The tragedy occurred on the foot overbridge between platforms 5
and 6 when the railing collapsed due to overcrowding. Several
people fell on the tracks and down the stairs, the officials said.
After the deaths, the Uttar Pradesh government requested the
railways to shift some trains from the busy Allahabad station to
the Prayag station on the outskirts of the city, 200 km from state
capital Lucknow, an official said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of pilgrims in
the stampede and directed central ministries, including the
railways, to extend all possible help to the state government in
Some witnesses said people were cane-charged by police just before
the incident as the crowd was becoming unruly and plying of trains
had come to a halt.
As soon as the bridge's railing broke, there was a stampede,
another witness told IANS.
Abhijeet Das, a passenger on platform number 6, accused the police
of cane-charge and said that it led to the stampede. "Medical help
did not arrive for over two hours," he said.
Police cordoned off the area and closed entry into the station.
Trains coming to the Sangam city were halted at the Prayag railway
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, condoling the loss of
life, ordered a probe.
"A committee, headed by the chairman of the revenue board, has
been formed by the chief minister to look into the reasons leading
to the tragedy," an official told IANS.
The state government also asked the railway ministry to ply more
special trains so that the crowd in Allahabad could ease.
While north central railways (NCR) ran 17 special trains for the 'Mauni
Amavasya', arrangements turned out to be insufficient.
"We made elaborate arrangements but there has been an unfortunate
incident. Our first priority is to attend to the injured," said
Sandeep Mathur, chief public relations officer of NCR.
The trains were meant to augment the crowds returning after a holy
dip at the Kumbh Mela and take passengers to New Delhi, Indore,
Kanpur, Varanasi, Ahmedabad and other places, a railway official
He said most people at the Allahabad railway station were headed
to Fatehpur, Etawah, Tundla, Shikohabad, Firozabad, Aligarh,
Khurja and Manikpur stations and hence the crowd became
unmanageable and swelled to unexpected numbers.