Tragedy struck the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain on Thursday when six persons were killed and several others injured during a storm and heavy rain that lashed the town late in the afternoon.
Most deaths were reported from a spot in the Mangalnath zone of the town, where a pandal caved in, trapping many devotees.
Cabinet Minister Bhupendra Singh, who is in charge of the Simhastha Kumbh, said six persons were killed, while 25 to 30 devotees sustained injuries. He said most devotees had suffered minor injuries and were treated locally, but two had been referred to Indore for further treatment. Later in the night, he said the situation was under control and the devotees had started taking holy dips again.
Thousands of devotees from across the country have been visiting Ujjain since April 22, when the month-long fair began. On Thursday too, the numbers were high because panchkoshi yatra is on. Hundreds of pandals and tents have been set up along the Kshipra river and other areas marked as “mela kshetra”.
Not all these pandals and tents have been built on strong foundation and were damaged during the rain.
Most pandals and tents were either flooded or started leaking after the downpour.
A drainage line near Ramghat, one of the main ghats, burst and sewage water flowed into the Kshipra, posing another challenge to the administration ahead of Friday’s Parv Snaan when more devotees are expected to visit the town.