Pilgrims killed in Indian temple stampede

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Madhya Pradesh in India

Around 115 pilgrims were killed Sunday in a stampede in India's Madhya Pradesh region. Some 50,000 pilgrims were attempting to visit the Ratangarh temple as part of an annual Hindu festival. Sources indicate that rumors spread through the crowd that the bridge over the Sindh River could collapse, which caused widespread panic.

The rumor provoked a stampede in which many people were trampled and others sought escape by jumping into the river, actions which resulted in many drownings. The death toll includes 30 children and may rise as bodies are recovered and patients in critical condition are monitored.

"We have counted 100 bodies so far. Several pilgrims died on way to hospital. The toll may rise manifold," a senior police officer told The Times of India. At least another 100 people were injured during the incident. A traffic jam leading to the temple caused rescue vehicles and medical teams to be delayed. Stampedes are common during religious festivals in India. The bridge involved in this stampede has recently been rebuilt following a similar incident in 2007.