Temple stampede kills 109 in India-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
NEW DELHI -- At least 109 people were crushed to death or died in the river below on Sunday after pilgrims visitng a temple for a popular Hindu festival in India stampeded, officials said on Monday.
The crush of the stampede killed mostly women and children.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees had thronged the remote Ratangarh village temple in Madhya Pradesh to honor the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the last day of the 10-day Navaratra festival.
Relatives crowded a state-run hospital to take the bodies of their loved ones. Volunteers and residents pulled many bodies out of the Sindh River, where people had jumped when the chaos started.
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.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed "deep sorrow and shock over the loss of lives" and asked local officials to help the injured and families of the dead.
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)