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Nearly 150 Killed in Indian Stampede

  • VOA News

Indian authorities say nearly 150 people suffocated or were trampled to death during a stampede at a Hindu temple in western India on Tuesday.

Authorities say another 60 were injured in the crush at the Chamunda temple in the town of Jodhpur.

Thousands of worshippers had gathered at the temple, inside a historic hillside fort, to mark the start of the nine-day Hindu festival Navratri.

Officials say a panic broke out when some people slipped and fell on a narrow path leading to the temple.

Rajasthan state's home minister (Gulab Chand Kataria) says this led to a massive crush as people fell on top of one another.

Television footage showed children weeping beside dead parents, and people carrying victims away from the temple.

Indian authorities have pledged to investigate the stampede to see if anyone was negligent.

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Indian authorities have been criticized in the past for poor crowd control at religious sites, which attract massive crowds during festivals.

Today's fatal stampede is the second in as many months at a Hindu temple in India.

At least 145 pilgrims were killed at a remote temple in the north in August. Authorities say rumors of a landslide triggered that stampede.

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