Railways struggling to deal with Kumbh rush as stampede toll reaches 36

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 16:18 hrs

Allahabad: Frantic relatives mobbed officials on Monday seeking information about victims of Sunday's stampede which has claimed 36 lives even as the railways had a tough time dealing with the rush of three crore Kumbh devotees thronging the city.

There were chaotic scenes at the railway station and local hospitals here treating the 39 injured in the tragedy with relatives running from pillar to post to get information about their near and dear ones.

North Central Railway said a probe will be initiated after clearing the rush of pilgrims.

"A probe will follow once we are through with ferrying pilgrims back to the places they had arrived from", Alok Johri, general manager of the North Central Railway zone, told PTI.

CMO Allahabad Dr Prabhakar said 14 more people died during treatment, taking the death toll to 36.

The victims include 26 women, 9 men and a child. Bodies of 20 of the deceased have been identified.

Taking moral responsibility for the stampede, UP cabinet minister Muhammad Azam Khan resigned as the in charge of Kumbh Mela.

"Though the incident took place outside the Kumbh Mela premises, I take moral responsibility and resign as the in charge of the Kumbh. I am sending my resignation to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav", Khan told reporters in Lucknow.

The stampede occurred at 7pm on Sunday at platforms No 5 and 6 of Allahabad railway station where thousands of passengers, mostly Mahakumbh devotees returning after taking the holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, had gathered to board a train.

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