At least 10 persons were killed and scores of others injured tonight in a stampede at Allahabad railway station teeming with thousands of pilgrims returning after a holy dip at the Maha Kumbh here.

According to Divisional Railway Manager Harinder Rao, 10 people died and scores were injured in the mishap.

The stampede occurred at 7 p.m. when platform nos 5 and 6 were packed with thousands of passengers.

Eyewitnesses said the stampede was triggered when the railing leading to the foot overbridge over platform no six collapsed when hundreds of passengers rushed to board a train.

Three hours after the mishap bodies of 10 victims were lying on the platform.

They said there was a sudden surge of passengers after an announcement over the public address system about the arrival of a train. The platform no 6 was sealed by authorities.

There were reports of a lathicharge which compounded the tragedy.

Eyewitnesses claimed there was a lathicharge by police but Rao said the incident happened when passengers were being told to stand in a line to bring the movement of the crowd under control.

The injured have been rushed to various hospitals.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled loss of lives in the tragedy and instructed Railway ministry to provide all possible assistance.

Singh also directed central government departments to extend all possible help to Uttar Pradesh government in relief operations.

Earlier in the day, two pilgrims were killed in a stampede at the Maha Kumbh here as over three crore people converged for a holy dip on the occasion of ‘Mauni Amavasya’, a day considered the most auspicious day during the 12-yearly congregation.

The stampede broke out in Sector 12 of the mela area this evening killing a woman hailing from Varanasi and a middle-aged man, who had come from West Bengal, Sector Magistrate Abhay Raj told PTI.

A few other persons received minor injuries in the stampede which occurred due to rush of devotees who were returning from the river banks, he said

(This article was published on February 10, 2013)
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