Tragedy Strikes Cochin University: Stampede Claims Lives at Tech Fest Concert
Kochi, : In a devastating incident at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), four students lost their lives and at least 64 others were injured in a stampede during a tech fest concert on Saturday. The tragic event occurred at an open-air auditorium on the university campus, where popular singer Nikhita Gandhi was performing.
Reports indicate that entry to the concert was restricted to pass holders, but unforeseen circumstances unfolded as rain began to fall. Seeking shelter from the rain, a rush of people waiting outside surged into the auditorium, resulting in a stampede. Some students slipped and fell during the chaos.
Health Minister Veena George confirmed the casualties, stating that four students are in critical condition among the injured. The victims were rushed to Kalamassery Medical College in Kochi, where two boys and two girls were declared dead on arrival.
An emergency meeting of ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was held at the government guest house in Kozhikode on Saturday evening. Expressing condolences, the ministers decided to cancel all celebratory and artistic events scheduled for Sunday as part of the Nava Kerala Sadas, an outreach program of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM].
As of now, 64 students are receiving treatment for injuries at various hospitals. Health Minister Veena George provided updates on the condition of the injured, mentioning that four are in critical condition, with two being treated at a private hospital and the remaining two in a government hospital. Additionally, 18 injured individuals are admitted to a private hospital.
Industry Minister P Rajeev and Higher Education Minister Dr R Bindhu have been tasked with coordinating relief efforts in Kalamassery, the location of the university, while Health Minister Veena George will oversee matters related to the treatment of the injured. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has issued instructions to ensure the injured receive proper and timely medical attention.
The tragic incident has prompted speculation about the organization of the event, with Municipal Councillor Pramod highlighting the use of the same gate for entry and exit as a contributing factor to the stampede. According to Pramod, the congestion at the gate intensified as students tried to enter, leading to a tragic series of events.
The entire community is mourning the loss of young lives, and investigations are expected to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the stampede to prevent such incidents in the future. The cancellation of scheduled events underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a collective response to this heartbreaking incident.