Eleven pilgrims died and several others were injured in a stampede at the historic Mahakali Temple atop Pavagadh hill in Panchmahal district of Gujarat on Sunday morning. The devotees were gathering at the holy shrine to take part in the Navratri festival.
Temple and district authorities said that there were at least one lakh devotees making their way up the narrow, curvy road leading to the shrine, when the tragedy occurred around 11 a.m.
RK Rathod, the resident district collector and additional district magistrate of Panchmahal, told HT: “The rush of pilgrims eventually resulted in the stampede at Patia Pul, a narrow uphill place leading to the shrine.”
Rathod said all the 11 dead bodies had been recovered and that there was nothing to indicate a higher toll. The injured have been admitted to hospitals in Halol and Vadodara. Eyewitnesses, however, put the number of injured at over 50.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a magisterial inquiry and announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of the deceased.