8 hurt in ‘stampede’ at Mithibai College fest

Chaos: Students of Mithibai College leave the premises on Thursday after a reported stampede.

Chaos: Students of Mithibai College leave the premises on Thursday after a reported stampede.  

Police deny stampede, refute organisers’ claim that they resorted to lathi charge

Eight students of Mithibai College in Vile Parle were rushed to RN Cooper Hospital after being injured in a reported stampede on the campus on Thursday night.

While members of the college and Cooper Hospital authorities said that there was a stampede, the Mumbai Police maintained that there was no stampede and that students were taken to the hospital after they suffered from suffocation.

‘Blunt trauma injury’

Doctors at Cooper Hospital said of the eight students who were brought to the hospital, four took discharge against medical advice, while four others are still admitted. Three of the patients are in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), while the fourth is in the general ward.

Rajesh Sukhdeve, Medical Superintendent, Cooper Hospital, said, “The three patients who have blunt trauma injury were moved to SICU as they were brought in a rush and treating them was easier on the ground floor. All four, including three in the SICU, are stable. It does not look like a major stampede because there are no multiple injuries on the patients brought in.”

A member of the organising committee of the college said the stampede took place after residents of a nearby slum gatecrashed the venue to watch the rapper Vivian Divine perform at the Colosseum Festival Mumbai, the college’s annual event.

“The police, who were deployed for security at the college, resorted to lathi charge, which led to panic and chaos. In the resultant stampede, around 15 to 20 people were injured and we took them to Cooper Hospital,” the member alleged. He said usually around 4,000 to 5,000 people attend the festival and that there was a sudden surge of people this year who wanted to watch Vivian Divine perform live.

Divine told The Hindu, “ I heard chaos break out and the police shut the show down, after which I exited through the rear gate. I am safe and am trying to find out what exactly happened.”

Manoj Kumar Sharma, Additional Commissioner of Police (West region), refuted the claims of a lathicharge and said there had been no stampede. He said, “The festival organisers allowed more people than the venue’s capacity inside, which led to overcrowding. In order to prevent any more people from entering, they closed the gate. At the same time, some people inside suffered from suffocation and dizziness and were taken to the hospital. No one is in a serious condition as per our information.”

Doctors said out of the four victims admitted, David Bangera (20), who sustained a rib fracture, is in a critical but stable condition. Nikhil Pawar (17) has suffered chest trauma injury and Hitesh Kamble has suffered abdominal injury. All the three are in the SICU. Meanwhile, the fourth victim, Kunal Chavan (17), is being treated in the male surgical ward.

The four students who were discharged have been identified as Shadab Sheikh (24), Max D’Souza (18), Kalyani Agrawal (18), and Prutha Vetoskar (19).


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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 6:56:36 AM |

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