KOCHI, Nov. 25, 2023 (TBINN)
Four students were killed and over 60 were injured in a stampede during Cochin University’s annual festival in Kochi on Saturday night, police said.
Officials said the stampede occurred before well known singer Nikita Gandhi was to perform for a musical festival in the open air auditorium of Cochin University of Science and Technology in the city.
Four students, including two boys and two girls, lost their lives, while over 60 others are undergoing treatment at Kalamassery Medical College Hospital and some other hospitals nearby, according to State Health Minister Veena George who mentioned that four more students were in a critical condition.
M.R. Ajith Kumar (A.D.G.P.) stated that audience rushed to the auditorium using the stairs when there was a sudden downpour, leading to a stampede and subsequent deaths.
“It was an annual festival, and from the brochure, we understood that it was held from November 24 to November 26. The musical event was organised at an auditorium with a capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 people.
“It was partially filled. But when the rains lashed suddenly, the students rushed through the stairs, leading to the tragedy,” Ajith Kumar told reporters in Kochi.
While initial reports suggested that the stampede occurred during the Nikitha Gandhi musical performance, officials later said that the singer had not begun her performance when the tragedy struck.
Entry to the programme was restricted to ticket-holders. However, several local residents were also outside auditorium during the musical show, an eyewitness told the media.