ISLAMABAD: Three girls were killed at a stampede during a concert of popular Pakistani singer Atif Aslam in Lahore Monday night.
The concert, organised by a well-known private college, was held at the Alhamra Cultural Complex, Dawn.com reported. While five students were injured, a large number also fell unconscious, the report said.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
DIG Operations Ghulam Mahmood Dogar told Dawn that there were around 7,000 students in the hall with a capacity for 4,000.
Preliminary investigations showed that a group of girls had rushed to take the autograph of Aslam when he was leaving at the end of the concert, he said. The concert had ended late and anxious parents were outside, calling their wards on their cellphones and asking them to come out early.
Due to the rush, the college management had asked the administration not to open the main gate because students would use the single exit and that triggered panic.
"The girls, who were trying to approach Atif, started pushing each other and some security guards used batons to keep them away from the singer," he said, adding that the girls ran towards the exit gate. This, it appears, led to the stampede.
A private TV channel, however, reported that the stampede was caused by rumours about a bomb. Shoes and other belongings of students were found scattered over the place.
Two of the dead girls were identified as Maheen Naseem, 17, of Walton Road and Farah Nawaz of Canal View. The injured, Wajiha, Safeera, Nimra, Zoya and Muneeba, were admitted to surgical and medical wards of Services Hospital, the report said.
A hospital official said that three of the girls had arrived dead and five others were under treatment with light to moderate injuries.
She said that two of the injured were discharged after treatment and the condition of three others was stable.
Atif Aslam is a popular singer who has also made his mark in Bollywood with songs like "Woh Lamhe".