Six killed and 50 injured during stampede

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 4 (UNI) At least six devotees were killed and 50 injured, two of them critically, in a stampede near the lion gate of the world famous Jagannath temple in Puri during the ceremonial procession of devi Subhadra called ''Pahandi Bije''.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a high-level administrative inquiry into the incident by the Member Board of Revenue.

The Chief Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

The stampede occurred as lakhs of devotees tried to move closer to have a 'darshan' of the deities while they were being taken to the chariot parked at the lion gate through the narrow passage by the servitors.

Huge deployment of Police personnel including the Rapid Action Force failed to control the crowd and the barricade put up by the authorities collapsed under pressure leading to the stampede.

All the injured were soon taken to the Puri District Head quarter hospital by the Aditya Bahini. The doctors declared six of the injured as brought dead. Two of the critically injured were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital after their condition deteriorated.

Police said out of the six dead three were male and the rest were female. Two of the female were sisters from Bhubaneswar.

The Chief Minister who visited the hospital directed to provide free medical treatment to the injured.

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