Rajahmundry: The sudden release of devotees who were waiting at the Pushkar ghat resulted in many of them trying to come out while devotees waiting outside were rushing towards the entrances to enter the ghat.
This resulted in a stampede at three places — the Fountain, Gate 1 and Gate 2. The stampede continued as the devotees jostled against one another and trampled on those who had fallen down.
The police remained mute spectators as they were keeping guard at the barricades instead of rescuing devotees. The authorities failed to keep a service road open to transfer people in case of any health emergency to the hospital and also to transport garbage.
As all roads leading to the ghats were totally blocked, a woman devotee, who had fainted, was transported in a speedboat in the river to Markendeya ghat and later shifted in a vehicle to the hospital.
Among the 27 dead, 21 were women and a 12-year-old boy. Among the injured, at present 23 are undergoing treatment — 14 in the government hospital and remaining in two private hospital. Condition of all the injured is stable.