Stam­pede at char­ity hand­out turns deadly

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

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.

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