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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora