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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora