PATNA, Oct 4 � At least 33 people, including 20 women and 10 children, were killed and 26 others injured in a stampede that broke out last evening outside the sprawling Gandhi Maidan filled with huge crowds here shortly after the end of the Dussehra celebrations, reports PTI.
The tragedy struck around 7 pm at the South East corner of the ground near the Exhibition Road when people were returning after watching the �Ravana Vadh� (killing of demon king) event and jostled with each other to move ahead, eyewitnesses and officials said.
Tens of thousands of people had gathered to watch the annual event at the historic Gandhi Maidan where several pockets were reportedly dimly lit when the stampede broke out.
Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has ordered an inquiry by the Home Secretary and Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey, the CMO said. He has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh each to the next of the kin of the dead.
Condoling the loss of lives in the stampede, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed.
Eyewitnesses said the stampede was sparked by rumours that a live high-tension wire had snapped and fallen on the ground, triggering panic. However, there was no official confirmation of the exact cause of the stampede.
Slippers, shoes and footwear lay strewn on a one-km stretch at the stampede site as people tried to flee from the scene.