Temple stampede over 145 in India killed

August 4th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

Over 145 Hindu worshipers were murdered and 50 injured in a stampede at a shrine in India’s northern state of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, 3 July.

As many as 104 dead were from Punjab. While 58 from Patiala, ten belonged to Sangrur and nine Bathinda. Six dead were from Barnala, eight from Mansa, two each from Ropar and Ferozepur, one each from Muktsar and Ludhiana.

The incident happened at the Naina Devi temple dedicated to goddess Durga, located atop a hill in Bilaspur district, some 320 kilometres north of national capital New Delhi.

According to Himachal Additional Director General of Police Daljit Singh Manhas:

“The police teams have counted 145 dead bodies at the hospital after the tragedy. Of the victims, 40 were children and upto 45 women, ”

“48 people have been injured. The death toll could go up as a few more wounded could have succumbed to injuries on way to local hospitals,”

Principal secretary PC Kapoor said.

“The rumours created a commotion that sparked the stampede as devotees on the stairway to the temple tried to push their way, causing a collapse of the system of fences,”

“This panic caused a rush between crowds returning from the temple and those going up to the shrine. People started running here and there,”

Monday morning thousands of Hindu worshipers were climbing up a 4-km trail leading to the hilltop temple, chanting and singing hymns, when the stampede happened.

Witness claimed that children who got lost from their mothers and were crushed under the feet of scared pilgrims attempting to leap over broken railings to save themselves.

The chief minister of Himachal Pradesh has announced compensation to those injured and to the families of those killed.

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