Stampede at charity handout turns deadly
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A stampede killed 21 elderly women and four young people early Friday when hundreds of people in central Bangladesh stormed the home of a businessman for a charity handout during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, police said. Another 30 people were injured and rushed to a hospital in Mymensingh, a town 115 kilometres (70 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka, said local police station chief Kamrul Islam. The crowd gathered outside the tobacco businessman’s home around 4 a.m. and stormed in when the gates were opened to collect free clothing, Islam said. A fiveyear-old child and three teenagers also died, he said. Survivors said about 1,000 people, mostly elderly women, were in front of the house, which is just beside the man’s tobacco factory. Ambia Begum, 45, went with seven female relatives at dawn. One of them died in the stampede. “Oh Allah, why did I come here? Why?’’ she wailed as the body of her 60-year-old relative was retrieved. The businessman distributes clothes every year ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan.