102 pilgrims killed in Indian stampede

2011-01-15 18:40
Kochi - A stampede of pilgrims returning from one of India's most popular Hindu festivals killed at least 102 people and injured 44 others, officials said on Saturday.

The stampede was set off on Friday night when a group of pilgrims in a jeep drove into a crowd of worshippers walking along a narrow forest path as they returned from offering prayers at the hilltop Sabarimala shrine in the state of Kerala in southern India, said local police official Sanjay Kumar.

All the injured were hospitalised, some in a serious condition, Kumar told The Associated Press.

"We have recovered 102 bodies. The rescue work is almost over," he said.

The area was flooded with pilgrims and the stampede occurred nearly 80km northeast of the temple site, Kumar said.

The annual two-month festival attracts millions of worshippers to the remote temple to the Hindu deity Ayyappan. The ceremony on Friday marked the end of the festival, and an estimated 150 000 devotees were thought to have taken the narrow path out of the densely forested hills where the stampede took place, said Thomas Isaac, the state finance minister.

Nearly 2 000 police officers were deployed near the shrine to prevent such an accident from happening.

At the small state-run hospital in the nearby town of Kumali, scores of volunteers helped distraught family members identify the dead. The bodies were wrapped in white shrouds and placed in wooden coffins before being handed over to the relatives.

Isaac said 72 bodies had been identified by late Saturday.

"Our priority now is to identify the rest of the bodies and hand them over to the families of the victims," he said.

Rescue workers found it difficult to reach the stampede site due to the dense tropical forests on the hills surrounding the vast Sabarimala temple complex, Isaac said.

A small stampede at Sabarimala last week killed one pilgrim, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Deadly stampedes are relatively common at temples in India, where large crowds gather in tiny areas with no safety measures or crowd control.

In March, 63 people were killed when poor villagers scrambled for free food and clothing being given away at a ceremony at a temple in northern Uttar Pradesh state. In 2008, more than 145 people died in a stampede at a remote Hindu temple at the foothills of the Himalayas.

- AP
Read more on:    india
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.