109 dead in bridge stampede near India temple
NEW DELHI – The death toll from a stampede near a temple in central India rose to 109 after many of the injured succumbed, an official said today.
Thousands of Hindu pilgrims were crossing a bridge leading to a temple in Madhya Pradesh state on Sunday when they panicked at rumors the bridge would collapse, triggering a stampede.
The district medical officer R.S. Gupta said that autopsies had been carried out on 109 bodies by late Sunday.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees had thronged the remote Ratangarh village temple in Datia to honor the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the last day of the popular 10-day Navaratra festival.
It was not immediately clear how many people were on the two-lane bridge over the Sindh River in the Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh when the stampede started. Local media said some 500,000 people visited the temple and some were headed home when the rumors began.
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