A woman lost her life, and 17 others injuried when a stage, constructed with wood and an iron frame, collapsed during a Mata Jagran event at Delhi’s Kalkaji temple. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, creating a stampede-like chaos.
The event, an overnight devotional program known as ‘jagran,’ was organized at the Mahant Parishar of Kalkaji temple, attracting around 1,500 to 1,600 people.
The elevated platform, created near the main stage for seating the families of organizers and VIPs, became the site of the unfortunate incident around 12:30 am.
Witnesses reported that the collapse happened as several devotees climbed onto the stage during hymns, causing the structure to buckle under the weight. The chaos escalated when a stampede-like situation ensued, leading to panic among the attendees.
A 45-year-old woman lost her life in the Kalkaji Temple incident. The injured, numbering 17, were rushed to various hospitals, including AIIMS Trauma Centre and Safdarjung Hospital. While some sustained fractures, the condition of all the injured is reported to be stable.
The Delhi Police, upon receiving a call about the collapsed stage, responded to the scene. A senior police officer stated that no permission had been granted for the event.
An estimated 1,500-1,600 individuals had gathered for the jagran. An FIR has been registered against the event organizers under sections 337, 304A, and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sunil Sunny, the temple’s priest, provided additional details, mentioning that the incident occurred during the 23rd annual Jagran at Kalkaji temple.
The presence of singers, including B Praak, and a large number of devotees contributed to the gathering. Sunny clarified that the main stage did not collapse; instead, it was a platform on the side meant for devotees that gave way.
Expressing deep sorrow over the incident, singer B Praak, who was part of the event, shared a video message on his Instagram story.
He addressed the role of event management and increased safety measures for future gatherings. B Praak showed the challenge of managing overwhelming love from the audience for Maa Kalka while ensuring everyone’s safety.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal offered condolences for the loss of life and wished a recovery to the injured.
He called for security standards at large events to prevent untoward incidents. B Praak, in his heartfelt response, acknowledged the turn of events and addressed the need for caution, especially for the safety of children and the elderly.
An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances leading to the Kalkaji Temple stage collapse. The Delhi Police’s decision to register a case against the event organizers shows the situation.
Legal actions under sections 337 (causing hurt), 304A (causing death by negligence), and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the IPC indicate accountability for the incident.