Puri: At least 14 people were injured during the pulling of Lord Balabhadra’s Taladwaj chariot during Puri Rath Yatra 2023 Tuesday, officials said.
The incident took place in the afternoon when the Taladwaj chariot reached Marichikote Chhak.
They have been admitted to Puri District Headquarters Hospital. “We have received 14 injured persons and one of them is critical,” a doctor said.
Officials said a woman devotee fell down while walking in the crowd leading to a stampede-like situation.
Security personnel, however, soon brought the situation under control. Some of the injured were provided first-aid at the centres set up on Bada Danda before being taken to the hospital.
Chariot pulling started at 3.04 pm with Lord Balabhadra leading the procession riding Taladhwaja amid chants of “Jai Jagannath”, “Hari Bol” followed by Devi Subhadra’s Darpadalan chariot and Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosh.
Till last reports came in, Lord Balabhadra’s chariot was at Shree Gundicha Temple, the destination, while Devi Subhadra’s Darpadalan was 200 metres away. Lord Jagannath’s chariot was stationed at Balagandi, about 2 km from the destination.
Around 82 people were given first-aid as they fainted due to excessive heat and humid weather condition.