Nine die at India religious festival stampede
in a stampede during a Hindu religious bathing festival in
southern India, a government official has said.
The stampede occurred in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh
state as tens of thousands of people pushed forward to
bathe in the Godavari River during the Pushkaralu festival,
said Arun Kumar, a state administrator.
The melee was triggered by some women pilgrims who
were trying to retrieve their shoes, which had fallen off in
the rush to the river bank, police said.
Rajahmundry is 450km east of Hyderabad, the joint capital
of Andhra Pradesh and newly created Telangana state.
Nearly 24 million people are expected to take part in the 12-
day festival along the Godavari River flowing through the
Festival participants believe a bath in the river can rid them
of their sins.
Deadly stampedes are fairly common during Indian
religious festivals, where large crowds gather in small
areas with few safety or crowd control measures.
In October 2013, a stampede in Madhya Pradesh state in
central India killed more than 110 people, mostly women
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