SABARIMALA: As many as 40 pilgrims were injured, four seriously, in a stampede-like situation caused due to unprecedented rush near Valiyanadapandal here at 9.30 am on Tuesday.
The incident occurred when the plastic rope used to control the pilgrims standing in the virtual queue broke due to heavy rush, in front of the Sannidhanam Government Hospital.
The four persons who were seriously injured have been admitted to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
They include Sreenivasan of Andhra, Thulaseedharan Pillai of Kollam and three-year-old Anagha. The fourth person is yet to be identified. The other injured were admitted to various government hospitals in Pampa and the Pathanamthitta General Hospital. The pilgrims had to wait in the long queue for 10 hours for the darsan of Lord Ayyappa on Tuesday. At Sannidhanam, Lower Thirumuttom was jampacked with pilgrims for climbing the Holy Steps. With heavy flow from the traditional Sathram route, hundreds of pilgrims gathered at the Lower Thirumuttom for Holy darsan.
Meanwhile, the police blocked pilgrims at Pampa Valiyanadapanal and Lord Ganapathi temple premises to control the flow of the pilgrims to Sannidhanam on Tuesday.
The devaswom authorities have advanced the darsan timings in view of the heavy rush of pilgrims. After opening the temple at 4 am, the pilgrims can offer worship till 2 pm. The nada opens at 3 pm, instead of 4 pm and the temple will remain open till 11.45 pm, in view of the heavy rush. The flow of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu and Andhra have increased following a respite in rain.