Central India Temple Stampede Kills over 50, Injures 100
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - More than 50 pilgrims are feared dead and 100 injured in a stampede at a temple in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday morning, local media reported.
The stampede was allegedly caused by panic after worshipers thought a bridge at the temple was about to collapse, RT reported.
Forty of the victims were apparently crushed to death in the stampede itself, while others drowned in the river after jumping off the bridge, according to local officials, who fear the death toll will rise, according to the Times of India.
"The figure could be more than 50. We are yet to recover bodies from the river," police told the daily on phone.
It is not yet clear exactly what caused the panic on the bridge. Sources cited by NDTV claim that a group of people spread the rumor that a bridge was collapsing to cut in line at the temple.
Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times reported eyewitnesses as saying that the stampede started after policemen used their lathi batons to control the crowd.
Some 50,000 Hindu pilgrims were on their way to the Mandula Devi temple to attend a ceremony during an annual festival to the goddess Durga. The temple is 60 kilometers from Datia, the capital of Datia District in Madhya Pradesh state.
A rescue operation is reportedly taking place at the site, with police recovering dead bodies and sending the injured to hospital.
People upset over the incident and the police’s response reportedly started pelting officers with stones.