Second stampede in Puri in 20 months
The stampede at Jagannath temple on Friday was the second of its kind in a gap of 20 months, with the Justice PK Mohanty committee yet to submit its report on the previous stampede in November 2006.
Though stampedes had taken place inside the historic temple, it was perhaps for the first time in recent years that people were killed outside on an occasion like Rath Yatra.
"I do not recollect a stampede in Puri during Rath Yatra", Chief Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple SC Mohapatra said.
While four persons were killed and 19 others injured on November 4, 2006, during the holy month of 'Kartik' as devotees in a long queue tripped when the temple gate suddenly opened, another mishap had taken place in November, 1993 claiming six lives.
Today's incident already took six lives, including three women, besides leaving over 10 persons injured.
"Some of the seriously injured persons were shifted to SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack," Chief District Medical Officer, Puri, Trilochan Baral told PTI.
The Justice PK Mohanty Committee, appointed by the state government to probe the November, 2006 tragedy, recorded statements of three personnel of the Jagannath temple Police (JTP) before finalising his report, expected to be submitted soon, official sources said.