Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Stampede at religious event in northern India kills dozens


NEW DELHI – More than 100 people, mostly women and children, were killed in a stampede during a crowded religious event in northern India on Tuesday, local officials said, suggesting extreme heat may have been to blame.

While the cause of the stampede was not immediately clear, Officials said on a local television broadcast that extreme heat was to blame. Temperatures in the area reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity levels reached 77 percent, pushing the heat index above 110 degrees.

“The incident occurred when people were leaving the congregation due to severe suffocation at the end of the event,” said Ashish Kumar, district magistrate of Hathras in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Chaitra V, a senior local official overseeing the areas where the stampede took place, told Aaj Tak that the venue had been prepared with “adequate space.” She added that the event had received necessary permits.

She said the problem arose when “people got stuck in the mud as they rushed out of the place. They were running towards a water source to save themselves from the heat.”

She said 107 people were killed and 18 others injured in the stampede.

According to video footage of the scene and descriptions of the event given to local media by eyewitnesses, the religious event appeared to be a gathering of worshippers led by a local Hindu preacher in an open space with a tent for shade. Such events typically involve singing as worshippers gather around the preacher. Witnesses described a large crowd at the event.

The injured and dead were rushed to hospitals in Hathras and neighbouring Etah district.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed his condolences to the victims of the accident. mail “I have directed local police and government officials to visit the stampede site. Instructions have been given to the concerned officials to conduct relief and rescue operations… and provide proper treatment to the injured,” he wrote on Twitter.

The stampede is among the deadliest in India in recent years, although deadly stampedes often occur at religious events. A stampede at a temple in India in 2013 At least 110 people killed.

Beach sent his report from Washington.



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