World

Publicity stunt for Shah Rukh Khan movie ends in deadly stampede

NEW DELHI: India launched an investigation on Tuesday after a publicity stunt for a new film starring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan triggered a stampede at a train station, leaving one fan dead.

Thousands rushed to a station in India's western Gujarat state to greet Khan, who was making brief stops on his journey to Delhi to promote his latest film "Raees" (Wealthy).

But the excitement turned to panic as fans were crushed trying to catch a glimpse of the Indian screen icon, who waved briefly from a passenger door. Amid the stampede, 45-year-old Farid Khan Pathan fell unconscious and collapsed, later dying in hospital.

'STERN ACTION'

India's railway minister Suresh Prabhu said on Twitter that he had ordered police to "investigate the matter and take stern action against any lapse".

Television footage showed swarms of people running towards Khan's carriage, elbowing one another to take pictures with smartphones as baton-wielding policemen tried to control the swelling numbers.

Two officers were also injured trying to bring order to the chaos, said Mr Sharad Singhal, a senior railway police officer. He said police were establishing whether the film organisers had sought permission before staging the stunt.

Khan, 51, offered his condolences as news broke of the man's death. "It is extremely unfortunate that someone has died... my prayers are with his family," he said. - AFP

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