News ID: 124244
Published: 0159 GMT August 10, 2015

Stampede at India temple kills 11, injures dozens

Stampede at India temple kills 11, injures dozens

At least 11 people have been killed and more than 50 other injured in a stampede outside a Hindu temple in the eastern Indian Jharkhand state.

The incident occurred early Monday in Deoghar town after thousands of devotees, who had massed outside overnight, tried to jump a four-kilometer queue during a holy Hindu month.

"Many tried to rush to the head of the queue which led to chaos and as some of them fell, the devotees got trampled," S.N. Pradhan, the additional director general of police in Jharkhand, said.

A large crowd of pilgrims had gathered before dawn on Monday to consider an auspicious date to visit the Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple complex during the month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar.

"Our initial estimates are that there were around 100,000 to 150,000 devotees there," Pradhan said.

Large groups of devotees flock to Deoghar in the month of August every year to offer holy water from the Ganges River to Lord Shiva as part of the religious tradition.

Stampedes in India are commonplace due to the large population and sheer size of the crowds gathering there.

A deadly stampede on the onset of the Maha Pushkaralu festival on the banks of India’s Godavari river on July 14 left at least 27 participants dead.

On a Twitter post, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "pained" by the loss of lives.

The Jharkhand government said 200,000 rupees (some 3,100 dollars) would be given as compensation to the families of those killed.

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