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Wednesday, July 15, 2015, Ashar 31, 1422 BS, Ramadan 27, 1436 Hijr

27 crushed to death in India holy river stampede
Published :Wednesday, 15 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 13

GODAVARI, July 14 : A stampede on the banks of a holy river killed at least 27 pilgrims on Tuesday in southern India in a tragic beginning to a religious festival season.
The stampede in Rajahmundry, on the border of the twin states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, erupted about two hours after the dawn start of the Maha Pushkaralu festival which sees thousands of people bathe in the Godavari river.
"Twenty-seven people have now been confirmed dead in the stampede and another 29 are injured," Parakala Prabhakar, a spokesman for Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, told AFP.
District official H. Arun Kumar put the number of injured at 40 while confirming that 27 people had died. While the identities of all the victims had yet to become clear, police and other officials said most of the victims were women and included a 15-year-old girl.
Images broadcast on television showed tearful relatives grieving over lines of bodies on the river bank. Rescuers wearing life jackets could also be seen trying to haul lifeless bodies into their inflatable rafts which were patrolling the river.
A. Srinivasan Rao, a deputy superintendent of police in Andhra Pradesh, said the disaster happened when crowds built up around one set of steps leading to the water, known as ghats.      ?AFP

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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