Madhya Pradesh temple stampede kills at least 109 in India
Reports suggest the panic may have been caused by Police baton-charging amid fears a bridge was about to collapse
NEW DELHI (AP) - The death toll from a stampede near a temple in Central India rises to 109 after many of the injured succumbed,an official said Monday.
The Thousands of Hindu devotees were crossing a bridge leading to a the remote Ratangarh Village temple in Datia to honor the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the last day of the popular 10-days Navaratra Festival temple in Madhya Pradesh state on Sunday. When they panicked at rumors the bridge would Collapse, triggering a stampede.
After a while, 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.
Police wielding sticks had charged the crowd to contain the rush and people retaliated by throwing stones at the officers, D.K.Arya , deputy inspector general of police, said. One officer was badly injured.
The district medical officer R.S. Gupta said that autopsies had been carried out on 109 bodies by late Sunday.
"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, as saying on Monday morning.
"We recovered the bodies from the river and from where they were crushed to death," Mr Mishra said.
The accident happen at about 09:00 (03:30 GMT) on Sunday. The Victims were mostly women and Children, Official said in the statement.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed "deep sorrow and shock over the loss of lives" and asked local officials to help the injured and the families of the dead.
"On this day of Festivities, our hearts and prayers are with the Victims and their families," the prime minister's office said in a statement.