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5 devotees die in Andhra stampede
Ramesh Kandula
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, August 28
Tragedy struck today, the first day of the Krishna Pushkaram, the river festival celebrated once in 12 years along its course in Andhra Pradesh, when five devotees, including two women and a child, were killed in a stampede at Vijayawada, 275 km from here.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who reacted swiftly by summarily transferring Krishna District Collector Prabhakar Reddy and Vijayawada police Commissioner Krishna Prasad holding them responsible for incident, immediately air dashed to the coastal trading city and reviewed the situation.

Mr Reddy announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the family of each of the dead and Rs 10,000 to 14 of the injured devotees, who were admitted to the local Government Hospital, before ordering an inquiry into the incident by a senior official. At least eight other officials of the Irrigation Department were placed under suspension for the incident.

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