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More than 100 dead in Indian stampede

7 years ago254 views

ODN

ODN


A stampede sparked by a road accident in dense forest has killed more than 100 Hindu pilgrims in southern India.

Kerala's deputy general of police says that 102 people had been killed.

The state's chief minister has called for an emergency meeting of the state government, as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged up to 100,000 rupees (£1,390) compensation to each of the families of those killed.

Hundreds of thousands had gathered at the hilltop shrine of Sabarimala on the last day of an annual two-month religious festival.

A bus carrying pilgrims back to the neighbouring state of Karnataka collided with a jeep and went out of control, crushing people walking nearby. Panicked pilgrims rushed forward, triggering a stampede.

Stampedes at large public gatherings are common in India, especially at popular places of worship. Large numbers throng congested areas with few or no safety regulations and inadequate crowd management measures.

Fifty-two pilgrims were killed in an almost identical stampede at Sabarimala in 1999. An investigation into the deaths found the state government guilty of negligence in ensuring public safety.