At least six devotees were killed and 27 injured in a stampede-like situation near Loknath Temple in Kachua area of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Friday, ANI reported. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that makeshift structures at the temple collapsed due to heavy rain, which led to confusion and the mishap.
“There was a large crowd at Kachua Loknath temple this year,” PTI quoted Banerjee as saying. “It started raining heavily in the wee hours and people tried to take shelter at makeshift bamboo stalls on the approach road to the temple. The bamboo structures collapsed after heavy rain.”
The chief minister said that the space was narrow and some people fell into a pond nearby due to a rush. Some reports said a wall around the temple had collapsed, leading to the incident.
Banerjee also visited the Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital to meet those who were injured. She announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the families of those killed in the incident. The chief minister also announced Rs one lakh as compensation for those who were critically injured and Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries.
Rescue operations were being conducted and Banerjee said she was personally overseeing the situation. Senior ministers also went to Barasat Hospital, RG Kar Medical College and a hospital at Basirhat in the district where the injured were taken.
Lakhs of people gather at the Loknath temple every year on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Lokenath Brahmachari.