22 hurt in Tripura pandal collapse, eight killed in road accidents


Agartala : At least 22 Durga Puja revellers, including women and children, were injured when a makeshift pandal (marquee) collapsed due to strong winds here, police said Wednesday. Eight people have also died in road accidents during the puja festivities.

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“The 65-feet high Durga Puja pandal, which was made of bamboo and wood, collapsed Tuesday night when the marquee was full of devotees who had gathered there to see the idols at the end of the five-day long festivities,” said police spokesman Nepal Das.

“Of the 22 injured, 17 are said to be critical. They are now being treated at the Gobinda Ballav Pant Medical College and Hospital here,” he added.

Though the idols of goddess Durga are immersed on Dussehra day after the Navaratri, some devotees continued immersion even till Wednesday in Tripura. The pandal that collapsed was a replica of Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel, which was attacked by terrorists Nov 26, 2008.

The state government has ordered a probe into the accident and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar visited the site Wednesday.

Meanwhile, eight pandal hoppers, including a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper and a government doctor, died in four separate road accidents in different parts of Tripura.

All the four accidents took place when motorbikes collided with other two-wheelers. Of the eight victims, six died in west Tripura and two died in northern Tripura between Friday and Tuesday, officials said.