News ID: 114422
Published: 1227 GMT March 27, 2015

10 Hindus die in Bangladesh ritual stampede

10 Hindus die in Bangladesh ritual stampede

Apparent crowding at a religious ritual near Bangladesh’s capital has led to a stampede, killing at least 10 Hindu pilgrims.

The accident took place in Langalbandh, a Hindu pilgrimage spot on the banks of the Brahmaputra river, 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka, local police chief Mazrul Islam said.

The fatalities in the Friday incident, seven women and three men, were caused when Hindus swarmed the river in their thousands to perform annual ablutions.

The ritual is performed during the yearly Astami Snan festival. The festival’s concurrence with public holidays marking Bangladesh's national day apparently attracted a higher number of people to the event.

Witnesses said at least 50 people had been injured in the stampede at the festival.

"We are investigating what triggered the stampede, but it seems that the tragedy was due to an unusually high number of pilgrims," said police inspector Nasir Ahmed. "The stampede involved a huge number of people as thousands of shoes could still be seen on the road an hour after it happened," he added.

The police chief said that the bathing ritual continued after police controlled the stampede and helped the injured.

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