At least 18 dead in stampede at massive Indian Hindu festival

ALLAHABAD, India,  (Reuters) – At least 18 people were killed in a stampede in the Indian city of Allahabad today as Hindus returned from a river dip at the world’s largest religious festival.

An overcrowded railway station footbridge buckled and a railing collapsed, sending some people slipping down the stairs and triggering the stampede, a top state government official told Reuters, not wishing to be quoted by name.

“I can confirm that 18 people have died and 13 have been injured,” said the official.

Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims stream across India to the small northern city of Allahabad for the Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, at the point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet a third, mythical river.

In the two months from the start of the festival in January, officials believe as many as 100 million people will have passed through a temporary city that covers an area larger than Athens on a wide sandy river bank.

Hindu holy men and pilgrims bathe in the sacred Ganges to wash away lifetimes of sins. Sunday was believed to be the most auspicious day of the festival.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock at the tragedy and promised financial assistance to the families of the dead.

More in World News


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. Convicted drug trafficker Barry Dataram about to be handed over to local enforcement officials by the Suriname police. Inset is the information page in the fake passport for “David Persaud” that was being used by the fugitive. (Royston Drakes photos)

    Dataram, wife returned to Guyana

  2. Back in court: In this Keno George composite photo, Barry Dataram (left) and his wife Anjanie Boodnarine at court yesterday to answer three charges including fleeing the jurisdiction.

    Dataram to serve eight years in jail after guilty plea to new charges

  3. Yansen Brusche

    Ulverston mom of four stabbed to death by children’s father

  4. Ameer Subrati

    Man dies after bandits target overseas-based couple at Herstelling

  5. US Ambassador Perry Holloway and Finance Minister Winston Jordan shake hands after the signing of the agreement yesterday.

    Guyana inks pact for reporting to IRS on holdings of US citizens

  6. Bharrat Jagdeo

    Crime has never been this bad – Jagdeo

  7. Updated: Man dies after bandits attack overseas-based Guyanese at Herstelling

  8. Barry Dataram

    Datarams getaway passports had been issued to other people

  9. Dr. Prudence Lewis-Bhola

    Prudence Lewis-Bhola appointed as CEO of broadcasting authority

Recommended For You