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Home > News > PTI

42 killed in stampede for relief materials in Chennai

December 18, 2005 12:45 IST
Last Updated: December 18, 2005 19:56 IST

It was rumours and a sudden downpour that led to the stampede that killed at least 42 people who had gathered on Sunday at a government school in Chennai to collect relief coupons.

Around 4,500 people had assembled in front of the school at M G R Nagar from as early as 3:00 am following rumours that only a limited number would be given relief coupons. However, a sudden downpour at around 5:00 am made them run for cover, triggering a melee that led to the bloody stampede.

Similar rumours had left six people dead and 20 injured in a stampede near a relief camp in north Chennai on November 6. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said, "Some mischief-mongers with an intention to tarnish the image of the state government had spread word that only 1000 families would be provided coupons on Sunday," causing people to assemble in a large number outside the school.

The crowd broke police cordon and rushed into the building leading to the stampede.

Residents here said people began flocking to the relief camp since 3 am Sunday following announcements through the Public Address System that coupons for relief material would be distributed from 9:00 am onwards.

They said police personnel deployed in small numbers at the spot stood helpless, unable to control the crowd.

"There were only a handful of policemen and they could not do anything to control the crowd," said a resident.

The scene of tragedy wore a gory look with bodies, chappals and screams of injured people.

And when the city woke up to the tragedy, the news of which by then had spread like wild fire, panicky relatives began rushing to the spot and started frantic search for their loved ones.

At the two government hospitals where the bodies were kept and injured admitted, the scene was no different. Relatives and friends of those who were killed and injured converged in large numbers.

The scene was filled with screams of injured people and sobbing relatives and friends. Some were waiting for the release of the bodies of the victims, while others were trying to see the injured.

© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 9

Sub: whateve the reason., life is gone.,

whatever reason there ppl. Say., ultimately sufferer are the ppl. who lost their near and dear., anyways its the ppl., who are partially responsible., may ...

Posted by CS Shyam Sundar

Sub: Killed in stampede

The tragic incident should not have taken place at all . Misinformation, no-information and incorrect information have been the bane of the lower end of ...

Posted by Sekar

Sub: death of 43 people in a stampede in chennai

It is second such incident.It shows callous attitude of official machinery and the travails of flood-affected people clamouring for assistance.A special traininng to deal such ...

Posted by sermuga pandian

Sub: Stampedes and India

I vaguely recollect another incident that happened about two years ago in a temple festival. What is it about India that public officials never learn ...

Posted by Seenu Subbu

Sub: A country of tragedies.

Dear Sir, This unfortunate and distressing incident again goes to prove the we are a clumsy country,who repeatedly fail to do the basics right. One ...

Posted by rajesh malhotra



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