Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

Read more

Asia-pacific

Scores killed at Indian temple stampede

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-14

Scores of pilgrims died in India following a stampede on a crowded bridge, officials reported Monday. The victims were crushed or drowned during a panic-stricken stampede in Madhya Pradesh in the centre of the country.

Pilgrims visiting a temple for a popular Hindu festival in India stampeded on fears a bridge would collapse, and at least 109 people were crushed to death or died in the river below, officials said Monday. Scores more were injured, and some bodies may have washed away.

Relatives crowded a state-run hospital to take the bodies after the autopsies and searched frantically for loved ones among the injured people being treated there. Volunteers and residents pulled many bodies out of the Sindh River, where people had jumped when the chaos started Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of devotees had thronged the remote Ratangarh village temple in Madhya Pradesh state’s Datia district to honor the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the last day of the popular 10-day Navaratra festival.

Sunday’s stampede was the second at Ratangarh. Around 50 people died in a stampede in 2006, and a two-lane, concrete bridge was built to replace a wooden one.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on the bridge when the stampede occurred, but local media said some 500,000 people visited the temple and some were headed home when the rumours began.

Police wielding sticks had charged the crowd to contain the rush and people retaliated by throwing stones at the officers, D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police, said. One officer was badly injured.

The crush of the stampede killed mostly women and children. Many bodies were pulled from the river, but there were fears that some bodies may have been washed away.

The district medical officer R.S. Gupta said that autopsies had been carried out on 109 bodies by late Sunday.

The state has ordered a judicial inquiry. Engineers say the bridge was not damaged, and images from the scene showed vehicles and people using the bridge after the stampede occurred.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed “deep sorrow and shock over the loss of lives” and asked local officials to help the injured and the families of the dead.

“On this day of festivities, our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

Deadly stampedes are relatively common at temples in India, where large crowds gather in tiny areas with no safety measures or crowd control.

More than 100 people were killed in a stampede at the hilltop Sabarimala shrine in the state of Kerala in southern India in 2011.

In 2008, around 250 Hindu pilgrims died in a stampede at the Chamunda Devi temple located in the scenic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur in northwest India.
 
(AP)

Date created : 2013-10-14

  • INDIA

    Mass evacuation in India prevents cyclone catastrophe

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Cyclone Phailin weakens after causing damage in India

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Half a million flee as huge storm batters eastern India

    Read more

COMMENT(S)