At least 30 killed, 200 injured in Naina Devi stampede

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Bilaspur, Aug 3 (UNI) At many as 30 pilgrims were killed and 200 others were injured following a stampede at the Naina Devi shrine in the district this morning, police sources here stated.

According to information at the police district police control here, the stampede occured after a railing leading to the Singh Gate entrance of the shrine gave way under the weight of pilgrims who were waiting their turn to pay obeisance. As the railing collapsed a number of pilgrims including women and children rolled down the hill while others ran helter skelter to save themselves.

Offical sources said that the death toll was likely to go up as a number of pilgrims are trapped in the valley below the shrine.

Many of them had injured themselves when they fell off.

There were around 500 pilgrims who were lined up outside the Singh Gate entrance of the shrine. Thousands of pilgrims visit Naina Devi everyday but on Sundays the numbers swell. A large number of pilgrims present at the shrine today were from neighbouring Punjab.

Senior police and civil officials are at the spot to supervise rescue operations as a number of pilgrims who had rolled down the hill after the railing gave way are still to be rescued. A number of medical teams also reached and spot and are evacuating the injured to the nearest hospitals or providing medical aid to those with minor injuries. Police sources said that injured are admitted in hospital in Panjab and Himachal.

Punjab Police personnel from Anandpur Sahib have also reached the spot and are assisting in the rescue operations.The resucue operation is also being hampered due to rain and poor mobile phone signals in the area. Ropar Deputy Commissioner and SSP have also reached the spot.

Asistant Commissioner Rakesh Kapoor said that six ambulances from ACC, Ambjua and JP Group of Industries have also been requisioned for the rescue operation . The traffic from Anandpur Sahib to Naina Devi and from Gramoda to Naina Devi has been temporarily suspended.


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