6 killed at Ujjain Kumbh after storm, stampede

Storm, lightning, stampede and collapse of pandals left six persons dead and injured about 70 at the Simhastha Kumbh Mela in Ujjain on Thursday.

According to report, the storm pounded the area for about 45 minutes on Thursday. It affected the devotees who live in the tents during the month-long pilgrimage.

Four devotees and one sadhu had died while a pandal collapsed due to strong winds. A woman pilgrim died after being struck by a bolt of lightening.

Squall coupled with rain suddenly hit the area, uprooting several ‘akharas’ or camps of sadhus.

The month-long religious event had begun on April 22. It is expected to be attended by five crore devotees.

The Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is based on the celestial line-up of planets and the signs of Zodiac which occurs every 12 years.

While the administration was worried about the possibility of stampedes on 22 April, 9 May and 21 May, when the ‘shahi snan’ ceremony was to take place, the sudden rainfall on Thursday appears to have caught the authorities unaware.