Stam­pede kills 27 dur­ing Hindu fes­ti­val

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

At least 27 peo­ple were killed and dozens in­jured Tues­day in a stam­pede dur­ing a Hindu re­li­gious bathing fes­ti­val on a river bank in south­ern In­dia.

The stam­pede oc­curred in Andhra Pradesh state as tens of thou­sands of peo­ple pushed for­ward to bathe in the Go­davari River on the first day of the Pushkar­alu fes­ti­val, said Arun Ku­mar, a state ad­min­is­tra­tor.

The stam­pede was trig­gered by some pil­grims who were try­ing to re­trieve their shoes, which had fallen off in the rush to the river bank, po­lice said.

Ku­mar said the in­ci­dent, which oc­curred in the town of Rajahmundry, hap­pened not long af­ter the 12-day bathing fes­ti­val started in the early morn­ing hours.

Andhra Pradesh’s chief mi­nis- ter, Chandrababu Naidu, said 27 peo­ple died in the stam­pede. An ad­di­tional 34 peo­ple were hos­pi­tal­ized with inj., Ku­mar said.

V. Satya­narayana, a pil­grim who was at the site, said the stam­pede lasted nearly 20 min­utes.

“It was a fright­en­ing sit­u­a­tion, with women and chil­dren cry­ing for help,” he said. “The po­lice­men on duty were help­less and it took more than an hour to bring the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol.”

AP PHOTO

Po­lice­men stand near dead bod­ies of vic­tims of a stam­pede dur­ing a Hindu re­li­gious bathing fes­ti­val in Rajahmundry, In­dia. Tues­day.

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