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More than 100 dead after stampede at religious festival in central India


India

More than 100 dead after stampede at religious festival in central India

More than 100 people have been killed and dozens more injured after a stampede at a Hindu festival in India.

Officials say panic broke out on a bridge near to the Ratangarh temple in the town of Datia in Madhya Pradesh state after rumours spread that it was about to collapse.

Many were crushed underfoot in the chaos; others died when they fell or jumped from the bridge.

Officials say at least 20 thousand people were packed onto the bridge waiting to visit the temple on the last day the 10-day Navaratri festival to honour the Hindu mother goddess Durga.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had already gathered in the area.

According to some witnesses, the situation was made worse by police who charged at the crowd, hitting them with batons during the panic, causing many people to jump off the bridge.

The victims were mainly women and children.

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