110 people killed in temple stampede in Madhya Pradesh, India

stampede Around 110 people, including 42 women and 31 children, were killed in a stampede at the Ratangarh Mata Temple in Madhya Pradesh on Oct 13, Sunday morning.

A section of a railing broke on a bridge across the river Sind, which is about 1.5 kilometres from the temple.

A rumour had started that the bridge was collapsing, which had triggered the stampede. Around 25,000 people were said to be on the bridge at the time.

Chief Secretary Anthony J.C. De Sa said that the bridge which is 400 metres long and 7 metres wide, built less than four years ago was in good condition.

He however did not confirm if the railing had indeed broken earlier in the day after a collision with a tractor trolley. Alleged delay in relief operations had led to stone pelting by relatives of the victims.

The temple drew huge crowds due to the ongoing festival of Navaratri and Bhai Dooj. The crowd is estimated to be around 50 to 60 thousand during the incident and about one lakh people visited the temple during the day.

A judicial inquiry has been ordered into the incident by Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Chouhan. The Deputy Inspector General of Police denied reports that lathi charge by the police to control an aggravated crowd had worsened the situation.

He said that they are investigating to find out about who started the rumours about the bridge collapse but rescue operation is their first priority.

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