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|09-30-2008, 06:43 AM||#1|
The Anthrax Envelope
Hindu Temple Stampede-- 90 People dead, 150 injured...
JODHPUR, India (Reuters) - At least 90 people died and 150 were injured in a stampede at a Hindu temple in the western state of Rajasthan, police said Tuesday.
The stampede occurred at the Chamunda temple, inside a fort on the top of a hill near the historic town of Jodhpur.
"We are zeroing in on the final figure. It may reach 100, but presently we have confirmed 90," Rajiv Dasoth, a police inspector general, told local television.
One witness, who gave his name as Santa, said the stampede occurred as authorities tried to stop pilgrims from entering the temple to make way for a VIP. But police gave a different account.
"The stampede started after a barricade near the temple broke and there was huge confusion and people started running down a steep slope and fell on each other," Dasoth told Reuters.
Local television showed volunteers carrying bodies and trying to revive them on the street.
One child cried over her father's lifeless body, wailing "Daddy, please get up."
Bodies were piled high in a local hospital, with the injured writhing in pain as medical staff rushed to help, a Reuters photographer said.
"We will definitely conduct an inquiry and if we find people were negligent, we will definitely take action," Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told reporters.
Last month, a stampede outside a mountaintop Hindu temple in northern India killed at least 145 pilgrims.
Authorities ordered an investigation into that disaster, which occurred after rumors of a landslide triggered panic among pilgrims who ran down a narrow mountain trail from the Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh state, only to meet thousands of people walking up.
In January 2005, at least 265 Hindu pilgrims, including several women and children, were killed in a stampede near a remote temple in India's Maharashtra state.
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