5 pilgrims die in West Bengal | india | Hindustan Times
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5 pilgrims die in West Bengal

india Updated: Jan 14, 2009 16:06 IST

Five pilgrims were killed during the holy dip at Gangasagar on the auspicious occasion of 'Makar Sankranti' on Wednesday.

An estimate of about four lakh devotees took the holy dip at the confluence of Gangasagar, official sources said.

One of the pilgrims, Ramchandra Bhunya from Burdwan district in West Bengal, died after he tripped over a crowd of stranded devotees who were trying to board a launch on way to Kapil Muni's temple, the sources said.

At least eight persons were injured in the melee.

Two pilgrims Mohanlal Chowrasia from Madhya Pradesh and Hazari Lal from Uttar Pradesh died at Kachuberia and the Sagar islands today after complaining of chest pain and uneasiness, the sources said.

The other two pilgrims died of heart attacks. One of them has been identified as Sandhya Garai from Sonamukhi in Bankura district.

A sea of humanity from across the country thronged the sprawling area before the temple since last midnight. Thousands of devotees took holy dip in the early hours on Wednesday.

Officials said while four lakh devotees have already taken the holy dip, thousands of other pilgrims are expected to arrive later in the day.

The huge turnout also paralysed traffic along the Diamond Harbour-Kakdwip highway, linking the Gangasagar destination points, since midnight.