Lifestyle & Belief

Death toll from stampede during Hindu pilgrimage in Allahabad, India rises


Indian railway travellers watch Indian authorities remove the body of a person that was killed during a stampede at the railway station in Allahabad, on February 10, 2013. At least 10 people died in the stampede as pilgrims headed home from India's giant Kumbh Mela festival, which drew a record 30 million people to the banks of the river Ganges.



The death toll from a stampede at a railway station during the Kumbh Mela religious festival in India has risen to at least 36.

Reuters reported the toll, adding that 27 of the dead were women, mostly elderly and poor, while an 8-year-old girl was also crushed to death.

An estimated 30 million Hindu pilgrims are taking part in the  world's largest religious festival — which occurs only once in 12 years — bathing at the Sangam, near Allahabad, where the Ganges, the Yamuna and Saraswati rivers meet

The stampede, which also injured dozens according to the Associated Press, was triggered after a railway station footbridge buckled under the weight of the massive crowd and a railing collapsed.

According to CNN, about 40 million people have made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, for the festival.

The city, which normally has a population of 1.2 million, had swelled to about 40 million on Sunday morning.

The ritual bathing, led by ash-smeared naked sadhu holy men, is said to cleanse Hindus of their sins.

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