Fire at Kumbh kills 1, stampede toll 37
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According to the Kumbh Mela police, the fire broke out in the camp of Mahanirvani akhara on Kali Marg in Sector-4, Kumbh Mela area, around 2 am. At least seven fire tenders were pressed into service.
At least 10 tents were gutted and some motorcycles were also damaged in the fire. The fire was brought under control in about an hour.
As a matter of precaution, the administration had cordoned off the affected area and also asked the occupants of the nearby camps to vacate their premises. With the akharas preparing for the shahi snan, most of the occupants were awake, which averted a major tragedy, officials said.
"While most of the occupants in the tents managed to escape, a naga sadhu, identified as Mahavir from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, could not move out in time. Three other persons, including Santoshi Devi, wife of the deceased, were injured in the incident. Their injuries were not serious and they have been admitted at the Central Hospital of the Mela area itself," said a police official. Short circuit is believed to be the cause of fire, he added.
Earlier, around 10 pm on Thursday, a few tents were gutted when fire spread from a havan kund in Sector-9. However, nobody was injured. So far, at least half-a-dozen major and minor fire incidents have been reported in the Mela area.
On January 25, nearly 15 people were injured in a fire that had broken out in the camp of Mahant Kaushal Das Kishore in Sector-11. Out of them at least seven people have died.
"Following the incident, at least eight people were shifted in air ambulance to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. At least five of them succumbed to their injuries over a course of few days. Another two persons died at SRN Hospital here," said S P Singh Principal of Medical College and in charge of SRN Hospital.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Sunday stampede on the day of Mauni Amavasya at the Allahabad railway station rose to 37. An unidentified man, being treated at Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital, succumbed to his injuries Friday morning, said Chief Medical Officer, Dr Padmakar Singh.
The total toll so far due to stampede, fire incidents and heavy crowding in the Mela stands at 47. While eight have died in fire incidents, 37 in the stampede at railway station, two others were killed on Mauni Amavasya due to heavy crowding in the Mela area.