Stampede kills 11 Indian pilgrims at temple

At least 11 people killed outside temple in Jharkhand during Hindu religious festival as crowd rushed through gates

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A stampede outside a Hindu temple in eastern India on Monday morning killed at least 11 people after up to 150,000 people rushed through the temple's gate.

Twenty other people were injured during the stampede at the Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple in the state of Jharkhand.

SN Pradhan, an additional director general of police in Jharkhand, told AFP that the incident took place after thousands of people tried to get into the temple as its doors opened, trampling people in their way who had been sleeping in the queue. Some were killed when the crowd crashed through the doors. 

"Many tried to rush to the head of the queue which led to chaos and as some of them fell, the devotees got trampled," Pradhan said.

"According to the information so far, 11 people have died and 20 have been injured. I hope the number of casualties does not increase and will stay at 11 only," lawmaker Nishikant Dubey from India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party told Reuters.

Deadly stampedes occur frequently in India, where religious festivals lead to large crowds gathering in small areas. A stampede at a Hindu bathing festival in Andhra Pradesh last month killed 27 pilgrims and injured dozens of others.

A stampede in the state of Madhya Pradesh also killed 115 people, mostly women and children, in October 2013.

TRTWorld and agencies