Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh--Twelve people were killed and 60 others injured in a stampede at Rajghat bridge between Varanasi and Chandauli where a large number of people had gathered for a religious event this afternoon.
The incident took place when thousands of followers of religious leader Jai Gurudev were on their way to Domri village on the banks of Ganga to take part in the two-day camp, police said.
When this report was being filed, local hospital authorities told television channels that 19 people were dead, out of which 15 are women. The number of people injured was pegged at 60. Five of them are stated to be in a serious condition, District Magistrate Chandauli, Kumar Prashant said.
Senior officials of police and administration have rushed to the spot to carry out relief and rescue measures.
Varanasi stampede: 19 brought dead, out of which 15 females, and 4 males. Four injured, says doctor (visuals from the hospital) pic.twitter.com/N11e5LJs3x— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 15, 2016
Meanwhile, a government spokesman in Lucknow said that the situation in Chandauli is being monitored and all necessary measures were being taken.
The channels stated that while the administration had issued permission for the congregation of 3,000 people at the event organised by religious leader Jai Gurudev, at least 70,000 people turned up for the same and was trying to make way into the venue. Some other reports said that at least 80,000 people had turned up at a venue that can hold no more than 3,000 people.
Varanasi is the constituency of Prime Minister Modi, who tweeted his condolence message soon after the incident.
Deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the stampede in Varanasi. Condolences to the bereaved families. Prayers with those injured.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 15, 2016
I have spoken to officials & asked them to ensure all possible help to those affected due to the stampede in Varanasi.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 15, 2016
Reports suggest rescue work was being held up due to the traffic snarl that has ensued across Varanasi, thanks to the thousands of people who were headed to the venue.
An inquiry will be instituted to find out the cause of the stampede, DM Prashant he said.
(With inputs from PTI)