Death toll rises after stampede kills dozens in India

The death toll from a stampede on a bridge in India rose to 109 on Monday after the bodies of more Hindu pilgrims were recovered from the river below, police said.

"The latest information we have from the ground is that 109 people killed and 133 were injured," Anand Mishra, an officer in the local police control room, said in an updated bulletin on Sunday's tragedy.

While scores of victims were crushed to death on the bridge in the town of Ratangarh, others died as they leapt into the Sindh River below in a bid to escape the chaos.

"We recovered the bodies from the river and from where they were crushed to the death," said Mishra, speaking by phone from the nearby city of Datia in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The tragedy occurred at the same site of another stampede in 2006, in which more than 50 pilgrims were also killed.

Meanwhile, hours after Sunday's collapse, relatives were searching for loved ones among the bodies grouped on the concrete, two-lane bridge over the river in the Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh state.

More than 100 people were being treated in a hospital for injuries including broken bones.

'Shock and deep anguish'
​Police wielding sticks charged the crowd to contain the rush and people retaliated by throwing stones at the officers, DK Arya, deputy inspector general of police, told the Press Trust of India. One officer was badly injured.

Among the people killed by the crush were 17 children, he said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on the bridge when the stampede started. Local media said about 500 000 people had gone to the remote Ratangarh village temple to honour the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the last day of the popular 10-day Navratri festival.

The state has ordered a judicial inquiry.

Sonia Gandhi, the leader of India's ruling Congress Party, expressed "shock and deep anguish over the tragic incident", according to a party statement. – AFP

Make sense of your world

Subscribe to Mail & Guardian at R10/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Millions of rand lost as SANDF returns unauthorised Cuban Covid-19...

Remedial action against officials suspected of wrongdoing must be taken, says the ministerial task team investigating the defence department

New year, same rules: The science behind masks, ventilation and...

Wearing a mask, washing your hands, good ventilation and keeping your distance all help to lower your chances of getting infected by the virus that causes Covid-19

Red Cross makes first medical delivery to Tigray since September

The ICRC said the urgently-needed supplies and essential drugs, which were flown in, would be distributed to facilities across Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray

PODCAST: ‘I had R40m debt at 26 – it felt...

Busi Selesho chats to the M&G business journalists and podcast editor about why she became a money coach and shares some tips to financial freedom

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…