Six women pilgrims are reported dead in a major stampede that occurred at the Gangasagar Mela in West Bengal earlier today. A number of pilgrims have also been injured in the unfortunate incident.
As per reports, the stampede occurred when people tried to outdo each other in a bid to board a boat on jetty number 5 of Kachuberia area (South24 Parganas). A long queue of people had gathered at the spot and sensing delay in reaching their homes, the crowd got impatient and tried to board the vessel all at once, which resulted in the stampede. The six injured women were taken to the Kachuberia temporary hospital, but they succumbed to their injuries and died of heart attack.
The pilgrims were on their way home from Gangasagar, after taking a holy dip in river Ganga. The Gangasagar Mela is an annual event organized during Makar Sankranti, where Hindu pilgrims take a Ganga Snan at Sagar Island or Sagardwip in West Bengal. This year, more than 16 lakh pilgrims had gathered at Gangasagar to take the holy dip in river Ganga on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, as per information provided by West Bengal Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee.