Mughalsarai (Uttar Pradesh): Ten minutes of mayhem at the Mughalsarai railway station have brought their festivities to an abrupt end.
As two trains arrived in less than 10 minutes of each other, hundreds of passengers rushed to take their trains, leading to a stampede on the overbridge that linked platforms five and six, where the trains were waiting.
Many were killed, scores left injured in the stampede that ensued.
Says District Magistrate of Chandauli, P R Mishra, "People were on a fast here on Wednesday and when the trains arrived together, they all rushed to get into them. That's how the incident happened."
All the dead are women who had come from Bihar to celebrate the Jutiyaa festival, in which mothers pray for the well-being of their sons. Most of them were fasting. Railway authorities say the heavy rush caused the accident.
Says the DRM of Mughalsarai, H K Kala, "We have inquired into whether the platforms of the trains were changed but that was not the case. The trains were regular ones that reached on their usual time. It was just the rush to get into the trains which caused the stampede."
However, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad thinks otherwise and has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He says the stampede was no accident and instead was an administration goof-up.
The Mughalsarai station is one of the country's largest railway stations, but in those 10 minutes, it appeared too small to accommodate its passengers, its lack of facilities thoroughly exposed.
(With inputs from Swetha Balasubramanium)