A Bollywood fan was trampled to death and several others were injured after a crowd stampeded a railway station in India in a bid to get a glimpse of superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
Khan, 51, was visiting the city of Vadodara in Gujarat to promote his latest film, Raees (Wealthy) when the publicity stunt backfired.
Thousands rushed to the station as Khan, known as the ‘King of Bollywood’, arrived on a train from Delhi.
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 door on the train.
Farid Khan Pathan, 45, fell over and collapsed in the chaos, later dying in hospital.
The film star offered his condolences: ‘It is extremely unfortunate that someone has died…my prayers are with his family.
‘I hope his soul rests in peace and his family remains well.’
Television footage showed swarms of people running towards Khan’s carriage, elbowing one another to take pictures with smartphones as policemen wielding lathis (batons) tried to control the swelling numbers.
India’s railway minister Suresh Prabhu said he had ordered the police to ‘investigate the matter and take stern action against any lapse’. Sharad Singhal, a senior railway police officer, said two police officers were also injured in the melee.
He said he was trying to establish whether the film’s publicists had sought permission before the event. Mr Singhal told reporters: ‘We will investigate whether police failed to do its part or the organisers did not comply with rules and regulations.’
‘We will take action against all those who were responsible, even if it was Shah Rukh Khan,’ he added.
Khan, who is said to be worth £500million, stars in Raees, a crime-thriller set in the 1980s about the rise and fall of a clever bootlegger, hits cinemas in India and around the world this week.
It is based on the life of Abdul Latif, a notorious criminal who was an associate of Mumbai mafia boss Dawood Ibrahim. He was shot dead in Ahmedabad in 1995, two years after taking part in the Mumbai bombings.