News / Asia

Officials Probe India Temple Stampede

  • Villagers gather after a deadly stampede on a bridge across the Sindh River in Datia district in Madhya Pradesh state, India, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • People cross a bridge after a stampede near Ratangarh temple in Datia district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • The bodies of victims of a stampede lie on a bridge across the Sindh River in Datia district in Madhya Pradesh state, India, Oct. 13, 2013.
  • Bodies are seen lying on a bridge following a stampede in Datia district, in India's Madhya Pradesh state, Oct. 13, 2013.

Deadly Stampede in India

Aru Pande
In central India, officials have ordered a judicial inquiry into what caused Sunday's stampede that killed at least 110 people during a Hindu religious festival. There are differing accounts of what spurred the incident.
 
The incident occurred on the last day of the 10-day Navatri festival, when thousands of Hindu devotees packed the bridge leading to a temple in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh state.
 
Then - as one woman describes it - panic broke out.
 
“We were going to the festival and then all of a sudden, someone yelled the ‘bridge is collapsing - run, run, run,’” recalled the woman, who was present.
 
The resulting stampede killed and injured dozens of people, including several women and children. Many victims jumped off the bridge into the swollen Sindh River below.
 
A day later, authorities were still trying to make sense of what happened.
 
Officials say earlier on Sunday a minor collision broke off part of the bridge’s railing, spurring rumors that the bridge would soon collapse. Some eyewitnesses said an attempt by police to control the crowd using batons aggravated the situation.
 
Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Secretary Anthony J.C. DeSa told reporters that a judicial inquiry has been ordered into what led to the deadly stampede.
 
“The government will consult with the High Court and whatever the inquiry’s findings are, if someone is guilty - they will be punished,” DeSa said.
 
Some 500,000 people were reportedly at the temple and at least 20,000 people were said to be crowding the two-lane bridge when Sunday’s stampede took place. Such numbers are not unusual during religious festivals in India, nor are such deadly incidents.
 
In 2006, at least 50 people were killed in the very same spot during a stampede, prompting the government to construct a 500-meter long concrete bridge to the temple so devotees would not have to cross the Sindh River by boat.
 
On Monday, politicians started trading blame with Madhya Pradesh Congress Party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh criticizing the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for failing to dispatch enough police to secure the crowds.
 
“This happened under the nose of BJP leaders and they were unable to do anything to prevent it.  We should make a blueprint to ensure this kind of tragedy does not happen again,” said Singh.
 
Madhya Pradesh leaders rejected Singh’s remarks as politicizing the tragedy, with state elections coming up next month.
 
The Madhya Pradesh government has offered $2,450 to victims’ families.
 
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed “deep sorry and shock” over the loss of lives on the day of festivities.

WATCH: Related video
Stampede at Indian Hindu Temple Kills Over 100i
X
October 14, 2013 7:14 AM
Officials in India say the death toll from a stampede on a bridge leading to a remote Hindu temple in Madhya Pradesh state has risen to 109.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rajratna Phadtare from: Mumbai,Mharashtra,India
October 15, 2013 7:48 AM
The stampede killed 110 lives. such incidents are happening frequently in India..because the people/devotees gather in large numbers .and the Authorities or trusties/officials of Temples or program are careless to provide properly planned access,proper security and and required provisions. Now the time has come for people should learn from such incidents .


by: Dennis from: California
October 14, 2013 1:09 PM
If there are guards or leaders of the group. couldn't they limit the number crossing at any one time?


by: pablo from: los angeles
October 14, 2013 11:18 AM
A japanese girl was asked how she made it out alive from the fukushima sunami. She replied "The only thing we were afraid of was panic". Let us all learn from her

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid