Maha Pushkaralu, Godavari River, India, Crowd Incident 14/07/2015

Maha Pushkaralu, Godavari River, India, Crowd Incident 14/07/2015

Stampede kills dozens at bathing festival in India

HYDERABAD, India — At least 27 people were killed and dozens injured Tuesday in a stampede during a Hindu religious bathing festival on a river bank in southern India.

The stampede occurred in Andhra Pradesh state as tens of thousands of people pushed forward to bathe in the Godavari River on the first day of the Pushkaralu festival, said Arun Kumar, a state administrator.

Pushkaram stampede exposes failure of crowd management

The stampede at the bathing ghats on the very first day of the Godavari Maha Pushkaram, which claimed the lives of at least 27 people on Tuesday, exposed the utter failure of the crowd management systems put in place for the event billed as a once-in-144-years spectacle.

27 crushed to death in India stampede

A stampede on the banks of a holy river killed at least 27 pilgrims Tuesday in southern India, signalling a tragic beginning to a religious festival season, officials said.

Hindu festival deaths: Dozens of pilgrims crushed in stampede to retrieve shoes

 

Tens of thousands of people pushed forward to bathe in the Godavari River during the Maha Pushkaralu festival in Rajahmundry

The Godavari Maha Pushkaram 2015 in Andhra Pradesh State - A study on good practices and gap analysis of a mass gathering event

Abstract and Figures

Abstract Introduction: The Godavari River’s Mahapushkaram observed from 14th to 25th July, 2015 drew upto 10 lakh people to Rajahmundry city and neighboring towns. Due to the flocking of such masses, many problems were anticipated; traffic congestion, poor sanitation, air pollution due to vehicles, water pollution etc. There was also an increased need for proper food, milk and water. An effective mass management plan requires an assessment of the current system’s capacity and understanding of hazards and risks. A review of such events can enlighten us with good practices and identify gaps which can be addressed in future such events. Materials and Method: This qualitative study involved PRA techniques like transect walk on all the days and interaction with key informants and in depth interviews with officials, workers and pilgrims. Preparations made for the Pushkaram, good practices and gaps in the arrangements were observed and noted. The information was transcribed in MS word and identified themes are presented. Results and Discussion: Observations regarding planning, facilities, food and water, sanitation, communication, transport, crowd flow, security and safety revealed many good practices. However many gaps were also identified. On the first day a stampede took place at pushkar ghat with 29 people losing their lives. The stampede that took place revealed several lacunae in preparedness for mass casualty incidents. Conclusion: The state has a responsibility to make sure that adequate arrangements are made to meet the large inflow of pilgrims. Accommodation, food, water and sanitation needs were adequately met with good public private coordination. Lacunae were; need for better traffic regulations and diversions, addressing basic needs of people stuck in traffic for long hours and an emergency evacuation system in case of untoward incidents. On site health outposts must be of a reasonably higher level to manage causalities

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