The stampede broke out in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, and according to Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh in a conversation with the BBC, the bulk of the deaths were women and children.
Patna Medical College and Hospital’s (PMCH) Deputy Superintendent Sudhanshu Singh was more specific saying that 20 women, 10 children and two men lost there lives. Seven girls were among the 10 child victims, he said, while acknowledging that the hospital was treating 27 more for varied injuries and that they were in varied conditions.
Stampede in India: No official cause
Eyewitnesses say that the stampede was caused when wires fell on top of the spectators in the outdoor venue and caused a panic with people believing them to be live electric wires, which turned out not to be the case. Other early reports are saying that the stampede occurred on a single narrow road as crowds ran in panic from the Gandhi Maidan.
“There was a rush towards the exit gate that several women and children were run over in the frenzy,” Patna District Magistrate Manish Kumar Verma said to the India Times.
Tens of thousands were gathered for the festival of Dussehra, and the incident occurred just following the “Ravana Vadh” (killing of demon king) event when the stampede began. Many eyewitnesses are telling media outlets that there was only one working open when the stampede occurred.
Stampede in India: Tragic, yet, common occurrance
Unfortunately, Hindu festivals are often plagued by deadly stampedes in the second most populous nation in the world as the involve large crowds often with poor crowd control.
In August, ten people were killed at the Hindu festival of Somvati Amavasya in central India.
In October of last year, 91 pilgrims, primarily women and children lost their lives at a Hindu festival near the Ratangarh temple in Madhya Pradesh state.