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36 killed in stampede at Allahabad railway station

 Allahabad, Feb 11 (IANS): At least 36 people were killed and over a dozen injured in an stampede following the collapse of an overbridge railing at the Allahabad railway station on Sunday owing to the Kumbh Mela rush, an official said on Monday.

"Thirty six people have been killed and more than a dozen people injured at the Allahabad station stampede. We have identified 20 of those killed, including 14 women and six men. Sixteen others are yet to be identified," a state government official said.

"We have set up a helpline at the Delhi railway station," Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had told reporters in Delhi late Sunday.

Though the minister did not specify the cause of the accident, he denied the claim of state government officials and said the railing of the over bridge did not break. "As per my information, the railing did not break...we are trying to verify this," Bansal said.

A cane charge-prompted stampede preceded the tragedy at 7.15 pm on platform numbers 5 and 6 of the Allahabad railway station, which hosted over three crore (30 million) devotees at the Kumbh Mela's biggest bathing day of 'Mauni Amavasya', district officials said.

The tragedy occurred on the foot overbridge between platforms 5 and 6 when the railing collapsed due to overcrowding. Several people fell on the tracks and down the stairs, the officials said.

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