Home World Asia News Navratri festival stampede death toll rises to 109 in Madhya Pradesh

Navratri festival stampede death toll rises to 109 in Madhya Pradesh

Navratri festival stampede death toll in Madhya Pradesh, India, has risen to 109, local officials have said.

Many were crushed after panic broke out on a bridge near Ratangarh temple. Others drowned when they jumped from the bridge into river water below.

Meanwhile, funeral pyres have been burning throughout the night with many of the victims already cremated.

Hundreds of thousands had gathered for the festival of Navratri (nine nights in Sanskrit).

Officials said the stampede may have been sparked by a rumor that the bridge was about to collapse.

Navratri festival stampede death toll in Madhya Pradesh has risen to 109

Navratri festival stampede death toll in Madhya Pradesh has risen to 109

“The latest information we have from the ground is that 109 people killed and 133 were injured,” news agency AFP quoted Anand Mishra, an officer in the local police control room in Datia district, as saying on Monday morning.

“We recovered the bodies from the river and from where they were crushed to death,” he added.

The accident happened at about 09:00 on Sunday. The victims were mostly women and children, officials said.

The narrow bridge is about 500 m long and had only recently been rebuilt following another stampede in 2007.

Local official Sanket Bhondve said the immediate priority was to provide relief to the injured.

Hindu festivals in India are notorious for deadly stampedes.

In the past year, dozens have died in three similar tragedies.

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