At least one person died and 20 others were seriously injured in a stampede-like situation at a Makar Sankranti 'Mela' in Odisha's Cuttack on January 14. Officially, the death toll is yet to be confirmed.
The incident occurred at Singhanath Pitha on T Bridge in Badamba-Gopinathpur. Over 2 lakh people devotees had visited the 'pitha' for Makar Sankranti.
Badamba-Narsinghpur MLA and former minister Debi Prasad Mishra confirmed that one woman, identified as 45-year-old Anjana Swain, died in the incident, while four seriously injured people were admitted to SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack city, reported news agency PTI.
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Mishra said other injured persons were admitted to a community health centre (CHC) in Badamba.
Athagarh Sub-collector Hemanta Kumar Swain said the incident took place due to a sudden increase in the number of devotees, including women and children, in the afternoon to visit a fair organised on the occasion and also to pay obeisance to Lord Singhanath.
The district administration said the congregation was massive as people were visiting the temple after a gap of two years due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Devotees from Cuttack, Khordha, Puri, Angul, Dhenkanal, Boudh and Nayagarh districts had come to the temple in large numbers, the sub-collector said.
(With agency inputs)