In a devastating accident at the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kochi, Kerala, India, a stampede at a music concert on Saturday, November 25, 2023, claimed the lives of four students and resulted in injuries to at least 64.
The chaos unfolded during a performance by Nikhita Gandhi at the university’s annual Tech Fest, located at an outdoor auditorium.
Initiated by a sudden heavy rain, stampede conditions set in, leaving attendants scrambling for cover. The rapid shift in movement precipitated a fall of individuals on the steps, leading to further injuries as they were inadvertently trampled, reported a senior police official.
Upon hospital arrival, two male and two female students were declared dead. Three of the students – Athul Thampi, Ann Rufta, and Sandra Thomas – were second-year engineering students at the university. Among the injured, four students face critical injuries.
The incident has drawn an outpouring of response, including condolences from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also committed to an immediate investigation and assured expanded medical support.
Dr. Sankaran, the Vice Chancellor of CUSAT, cited a confluence of factors – crowd size, rain, and structural concerns – as underlying the tragedy.
The Health Minister confirmed that arrangements for care were fully mobilized; the response included assistance from municipal resources that noted key safety concerns at the venue, specifically the singular gate for entrance and exit.
Singer Nikhita Gandhi shared her distress over the events on social media.