02 July 2024

At least 105 people killed in stampede at religious event in India

02 July 2024

A stampede among thousands of people at a religious gathering in northern India killed at least 105 and left scores injured, officials said on Tuesday, adding that the toll could rise.

People had rushed to leave the makeshift tent following an event with Hindu figure Bhole Baba, local media reported.

Video of the aftermath showed the structure appeared to have collapsed.

Police officer Rajesh Singh said overcrowding may have been a factor in the stampede in a village in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh state, about 350 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of the state capital, Lucknow.

People started falling one upon another, one upon another

Initial reports suggested that more than 15,000 people had gathered for the event, which had permission to host about 5,000.

“People started falling one upon another, one upon another. Those who were crushed died. People there pulled them out,” witness Shakuntala Devi told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Bodies were brought to hospitals and morgues by trucks and private vehicles, government official Matadin Saroj said.

Government official Ashish Kumar told The Associated Press that at least 60 had reached mortuaries in the district.

More than 150 people were admitted to hospitals, medical official Umesh Tripathi said.

Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, called the stampede “extremely sad and heart-wrenching” in a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

He said authorities were investigating the cause.

In 2013, pilgrims visiting a temple for a popular Hindu festival in central Madhya Pradesh state trampled on each other amid fears that a bridge would collapse. At least 115 were crushed to death or died in the river.

Women mourn outside the Sikandrarao hospital in Hathras district in northern India after the stampede (Manoj Aligadi/AP) (AP)

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