|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Stapmede toll 258; probe ordered
Anand Kumar in Wai | January 26, 2005 21:34 IST
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday ordered a judicial probe into the stampede in Mandhra Devi temple near Wai in Satara district and the subsequent chaos that claimed 258 lives, including 157 women and six children.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced that a retired high court judge would conduct the probe.
Police have registered a first information report against unidentified persons in connection with the violence that broke out soon after the stampede.
The temple was closed to devotees as authorities took up an operation to cleanse the complex of burnt remains of stalls, scattered garlands, strewn bangles and broken idols.
One body was recovered from under the debris in the morning, taking the toll to 258, Satara District Magistrate Subbarao Patil told reporters. He said the cleaning operation had been completed.
"It is not 500, 400 or 300 (deaths). The number of dead in the stampede is 258," he said. Patil said 248 bodies had been identified and handed over to their relatives while the others were yet to be identified. They have been shifted to the Sasoon Hospital in Pune.
Of the 38 injured, all but 12 have been discharged from hospitals in Wai.
More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts