Kolkata: At least three devotees were killed and some 50 others fell sick in heat and suffocation following a heavy turnout of devotees at a "Chira Doi" festival on the bank of Mahotsav ghat at Panihati in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas, official sources said on Sunday.
"Distressed to know of 3 old devotees' death due to heat and humidity in Danda Mahotsav at ISKCON temple at Panihati,' Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
She also directed the District Magistrate and Police chief to rush to the spot where thousands of pilgrims assembled defying heat and humid condition, which has been prevailing in this part of the state for a few weeks now.
"CP and DM have rushed, all help being provided. My condolences to the bereaved families, solidarity to devotees," Banerjee added.
Eyewitnesses said the heavy turnout of the devotees since morning led to a commotion, fuelled by scorching sun, heat and humidity which caused a near stampede-like situation.
Over 50 people have fallen sick due to suffocation and crowding, many of them were taken to a nearby hospital where three of them succumbed. (UNI)