89 confirmed dead, over 100 injured in India following stampede near temple

Tuesday 26 November 2013 08.31
Bodies of Hindu devotees are loaded onto a truck following a stampede outside the Ratangarh Temple in Datia district
Bodies of Hindu devotees are loaded onto a truck following a stampede outside the Ratangarh Temple in Datia district

A stampede at a bridge leading to a remote Hindu temple in central India has killed at least 89 people and injured more than 100, police said.

Nearly 150,000 devotees gathered to celebrate the holy festival of Dussehra at the Ratangarh temple, in a forest outside the town of Datia, 390km north of the Madhya Pradesh state capital, Bhopal.

But pilgrims panicked when the railings broke on a bridge that led to the temple, triggering the stampede.

Some devotees were crushed to death under the feet of fellow worshippers, others drowned after falling or jumping into the river Sindh.

"The death toll has shot up to 89 now and nearly 100 people are injured. Relief work tends to slow down after the sunset butwill start in full swing from tomorrow morning," Dilip Arya, a deputy inspector general of police, said.

Local media said the police used batons to control the crowd, prompting many people to panic.

A team of 20 doctors was sent to help, the media said.

Pilgrims have died due to stampedes on previous occasions.

In February this year, a stampede killed at least 36 Hindu pilgrims, who were part of the world's largest religious festival, which attracted 30 million people.

Keywords: ratangarh temple