November 2019
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30 die in wall collapse, stampede, drowning during ''Chhath'' in Bihar
Patna: A total of 30 people including 18 children died in separate incidents of wall collapse, stampede and drowning in different parts of Bihar during the ''Chhath'' festival that concluded on Sunday, police said. Two women were killed in a wall collapse, two children died during a stampede while 26 others, including 16 children, drowned in different districts of the state since Saturday. The two women who observed the Chhath rituals died and four others were injured when a portion of the wall of a Kali temple collapsed this morning at Badgaon village in Samastipur district. The wall collapsed at around 6.30 am, when the devotees were preparing to leave the ghat after offering ''arghya'', Hasanpur police station SHO Chandrakant Gauri said.

The injured devotees have been admitted to Hasanpur primary health centre, he said. In another incident, two children aged seven years and four years were killed in a stampede that took place near Suryakund at Deo block in the evening, Aurangabad District Magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal said. Official sources said the stampede occurred as the turnout at Deo''s Surya temple for Chhath Puja was "beyond the expectation" of the local administration. In drowning incidents, a 35-year-old man died after he entered a pond at Khajuri village in Samastipur district, Sarairanjanj BDO Gangasagar Singh said.

Three children drowned in ponds while two others were saved by the divers at separate Chhath ghats under S Kamal and Mufassil police station areas of Begusarai district. Four persons drowned and one has gone missing in different ponds on Saturday evening in Bhagalpur district. Four bodies have been fished out while efforts are on to find out the fifth one, official sources said. Eighteen others including 10 minors also drowned in Vishali, Purnea and Khagaria districts during the festival, the sources saId. Seven, six and five people died in Purnea, Vaishali and Khagaria districts respectively.

The ''Chhath'' festival ended on Sunday as lakhs of devotees thronged the banks of the Ganga and other water- bodies across the state this morning and offered ''arghya'' to the rising Sun god. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who had on Saturday inspected the ghats, extended greetings to people on the occasion and prayed to the Sun god for the peace, prosperity and development of the state and the country.

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