Dozens Dead From Stampede At Religious Gathering: REPORT

Image by Viri Gutiérrez/Lummi

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

At least 60 persons were killed after a stampede at a religious gathering in northern India, The Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday, citing Indian officials.

Umesh Tripathi, a medical official, told the outlet over 150 persons were sent to hospitals with injuries resulting from the event and that the total death total from the stampede could rise. (RELATED: At Least 27 Dead After Major Fire At Indian Amusement Park)

The stampede occurred as the congregants hastened to depart an event led by a local religious leader named Bhole Baba, the AP noted, citing local media reports. Rajesh Singh, a local police officer, said overcrowding was a possible reason, the outlet reported. Over 15,000 persons attended the event that had been authorized to host approximately 5,000 people, according to initial reports cited by the AP.

“People started falling one upon another, one upon another. Those who were crushed died. People there pulled them out,”  Shakuntala Devi, a witness to the tragedy, told the Press Trust of India, the AP reported.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath tweeted in Hindi that the incident that occurred in his province was “extremely sad and heart-wrenching” and offered his “condolences” to “the bereaved” families. “I pray to Lord Shri Ram to give a place to the departed souls in his feet and provide speedy recovery to the injured,” the minister added.

“The UP  [Uttar Pradesh] government is engaged in providing all possible help to all the victims. My condolences are with those who have lost their loved ones in this. Along with this, I wish for the speedy recovery of all the injured,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted in Hindi.

Deadly stampedes at religious gatherings in India are unfortunately not an unheard of phenomenon due to large crowds gathering in areas allotted for much smaller numbers of people, the AP reported.  A 2013 stampede resulted int the deaths of no less than 115 pilgrims, including approximately 30 children, visiting the famed Ratangarh temple in Madhya Pradesh, The Times of India reported at the time.