168 Killed in Indian Temple Stampede


 
 

| Tuesday, September 30, 2008


JODHPUR, India -- Thousands of pilgrims panicked by false rumors of a bomb stampeded at a Hindu temple in western India on Tuesday, killing at least 168 people in the crush to escape, officials said.

More than 12,000 people gathered at the temple at dawn to celebrate a Hindu festival in the historic city of Jodhpur when the stampede occurred early Tuesday morning.

The temple floors were slick with coconut milk as thousands of devotees broke coconuts as religious offerings, causing pilgrims to slip and fall as they scrambled to escape, said Ramesh Vyas, a pilgrim who was standing in line.

Vyas said it was the false rumors of a bomb that sparked the chaos, and that tensions were high because India has been hit by a spate of recent bomb attacks. The latest was on Monday night in the western city of Malegaon, killing six people and wounding 45.

At least 168 people were killed in the stampede, said Naresh Pal Gangwar, the district collector.

Television footage from Jodhpur showed dozens of bodies lying on the sidewalk, while nearby frantic people tried to revive unconscious devotees, slapping their faces and pressing on their chests.

Others dragged people by their arms and legs, running down a ramp that leads to the temple inside the massive 15th century Mehrangarh fort that overlooks the town.

One child sat on the ground next to the body of a woman, rubbing her forehead and crying "mother, mother."

The injured have been admitted to half a dozen hospitals in Jodhpur.

Tuesday marked the first day of Navratra, a nine-day Hindu festival to honor the Mother Goddess.

Jodhpur is some 180 miles (290 kilometers) southwest of the Rajasthan state capital of Jaipur.

The Mehrangarh fort is one of the town's biggest tourist attractions with its huge walls, ornate interiors and views overlooking Jodhpur's "blue city."

Deadly stampedes are a relatively common occurrence at temples in India, where large crowds sometimes hundreds of thousands of people congregate in small areas lacking facilities to control big gatherings.

In August, 145 people were killed when rumors of an avalanche sparked a stampede at a hilltop temple in northern India.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Incident Command

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS in Nevada Prepares for the Unexpected

Protocols and PPE protect AMR personnel.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Brace for Possible Ebola Patients

Union leader shares concern over precautions.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >