DEHRADUN: Ten people were crushed to death and many others injured in a stampede at a religious ceremony close to the holy river Ganges in northern India on Tuesday, organisers said.
“Ten people have been killed, and two dozen have been injured. We are treating all the injured in our own temporary hospital, set up on the premises,” Hemant Sahu, media contact for the event organisers, told AFP.
Sahu said the accident occurred when tens of thousands of Hindu devotees outside the city of Haridwar crowded around a fire to make offerings.
“When the big ritual was going on, too many people rushed forward to make their offerings to the holy fire and the crowd got out of control,” he said.
“A couple of people fell down and that is what happened. We think the death toll may still go up.”
The Press Trust of India news agency said six people had died.
Haridwar, located 107 miles (173 kilometres) north of New Delhi where the Ganges emerges from the Himalayan mountains, is one of Hinduism’s most sacred cities and among India’s biggest pilgrim destinations.
Stampedes are a regular risk in India where policing and crowd control are often inadequate at temples and on pilgrimage routes, where huge throngs of fervent devotees congregate on auspicious occasions.
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