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Terror, 'chaos' as India stampede kills 121

Terror, 'chaos' as India stampede kills 121
3 July 2024 10:06

Hathras (AFP)

Survivors of India's deadliest stampede in over a decade on Wednesday recalled the horror of being crushed at a vastly overcrowded religious gathering that left 121 people dead.

A police report said more than 250,000 people attended the event in northern India's Uttar Pradesh state, more than triple the 80,000 organisers had permission for.

On Wednesday morning, hours after the event, discarded clothing and lost shoes were scattered across the muddy site, an open field alongside a highway.

People fell on top of each other as they tumbled down a slope into a water-logged ditch, witnesses said.

Almost all of the dead were women, along with seven children killed and one man.

Some fainted from the force of the crowd, before falling and being trampled upon, unable to move.

The Uttar Pradesh's state disaster management centre, the Office of the Relief Commissioner, released a list of the dead on Wednesday morning.

It said 121 people had been killed.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar Singh told reporters after visiting the site that worshippers had scrambled to get close to the preacher.

'Heart-rending'


Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced compensation of $2,400 to the next of kin of those who died and $600 to those injured in the "tragic incident".

President Droupadi Murmu said the deaths were "heart-rending" and offered her "deepest condolences".

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his condolences to the relatives of those killed and ordered an investigation into the deaths, his office said.

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