Dozens of worshippers are crushed to death in stampede in India

Tuesday, July 02, 2024 - Dozens of worshippers have been crushed to death at a Hindu religious gathering in northern India, government medics have said.

The death toll has risen to 87, Indian news site NDTV reports, citing officials.

More have been injured and there are fears the death toll could increase further.

According to Mail Online, the crowds had gathered to celebrate the Hindu deity Shiva in the town of Sikandra Kao, Uttar Pradesh state, some 120 miles (200km) southeast of New Delhi.

'I can't give the exact toll at the moment, but it is approximately 60... There is a possibility that the toll may go up,' district police spokesperson Manish Chikara said.

State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said his thoughts were with the bereaved families and he ordered an urgent investigation into the incident.

'Instructions have been given to the concerned officials to conduct relief and rescue operations on war footing and to provide proper treatment to the injured,' he wrote on X.

Hathras District Magistrate Ashish Kumar said that, according to numbers received from the community health centre, between 50 and 60 people were killed.

'The stampede broke out in a village within the Sikandra Rao police station limits in Hathras. The injured are being taken to hospitals,' he said.

He added: 'This was a private event and permission had been given by the sub-divisional magistrate.

'Security arrangements were made by the administration but the other arrangements were supposed to be made by the organisers,' Mr Kumar said.

Umesh Kumar Tripathi, chief medical officer, said many injured have been admitted to hospital and added: 'The primary reason is a stampede during a religious event.'

He previously told reporters that 27 people had been killed, of whom 25 were women and two were men.

Uttar Pradesh state senior medical officer Ram Mohan Tiwari said earlier: 'We have received 27 bodies so far... bodies are still coming.'

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