Mughalsarai, Oct 3 (UNI) At least 14 women were killed and 48 others, mostly women, injured in a major stampede at the Mughalsarai railway station here today.
Of the 14 deceased, six belonged to Shahpur in Bhojpur district, Bihar. Thirteen of them deceased died at Divisional Railway Hospital here, while another succumbed at BHU hospital in Varanasi.
Eight of the deceased have been identified as Ram Kumari Devi (45), Kalpatiya (40), Shiv Dulari (48), Dhanmania (60), Sonjhari (40), Bhagmania (62) -- all from Shahpur (Bhojpur), Ramvati (40) from Ghazipur district of UP and Madhuri (40) from Buxar (Bihar).
who died at BHU hospital, where 10 critically injured had been shifted.
Of the 48 wounded, 44 were women, while four others were minors.
They were coming from various districts of Bihar, including Bhojpur, Sasaram, Arah and Buxar to participate in the festival of 'Jyootiya', when the mishap occurred at the overbridge on platform number five and six of Mughalsarai station -- a key station of East Central Railway.
''The mishap occurred, following a stampede on the overbridge after the arrival of two passenger trains from Gaya and Buxar respectively at the two adjoining platforms within a span of five minutes,'' Divisional Railway Managar (Mughalsarai) H K Kala said.
Mr Kala also announced an immediate assistance of Rs 15,000 each to the next of the kin of the 14 deceased and an amount of Rs 5,000 to those critically injured in the accident. A sum of Rs 500 each was announced to the other injured.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary P K Mishra accompanied by Additional Director General of Police (ADG-Law and Order) Brij Lal Meena also visited the Divisional Railway Hospital here and met the injured.
Interacting with mediapersons later, Mr Mishra announced an immediate compensation of Rs one lakh each to the next of kin of the 14 deceased and Rs 50,000 to seriously injured.
He also announced that a high level probe will be conducted by a Commissioner level official into the accident.
Later in the evening, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad is slated to arrive here by a special train.
The stampede took place on an overcrowded overbridge, when the three trains arrived simultaneously. Most of the victims were aged and had choked to death on the curves of the overbridge in the stampede.
''Passengers trying to switch over the trains had crowded the overbridge which resulted in the incident,'' SP (Chandauli) Pravin Kumar told reporters at the site of the incident. Government Railway Police (GRP) officials claimed that Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel had caned charged at the crowd which could have also triggered the stampede.
DRM (Mughalsarai) H K Kala said a probe has been ordered to ascertain the exact cause of the tragedy. Police officials said the GRP and RPF had apparently failed to monitor the flow of the passengers. ''The arrival of three trains together and the RPF lathi charge compounded the problem,'' a police official who was at the site said.
The Mughalsarai railway station is a key junction on the Delhi-Howrah rail route and comes under the East-Central railway.