New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and reviewed the situation after atleast 32 people were killed in stampede at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan.
A huge crowd had gathered at an outdoor venue in the state capital, Patna, for the burning of effigies at dusk, part of the Dusshera festival.
Officials said the stampede happened as people were leaving at the end of the event. Television channels quoted a witness as saying there were not enough lights when the ceremony ended.
At least 15 injured people were taken to hospital, the police chief, P.K. Thakur said. Police are examining closed circuit television to determine what had triggered the stampede.
“There was very little police presence and there were vendors who had put up their stalls at the exit gates, making it more difficult to leave,” a witness told NDTV.
Patna police superintendent Prantosh Kumar Das said some people reported that had they heard a rumour that a live electric wire had fallen on the public ground and it quickly spread through the crowd, prompting a rush for the gates.
Television showed shoes, slippers and handbags strewn over the ground.
Dusshera is one of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrating the victory of good over evil from the epic Ramayana.