Dozens killed in crush at India religious event

More than 50 people have been killed in a crush at a religious gathering in northern India, officials have said.

The incident took place at a satsang (a Hindu religious event) in Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh state.

“A figure of nearly 50-60 deaths has been reported to me by doctors,” district magistrate of Hathras Ashish Kumar said.

The victims, including a large number of women and some children, are still being identified.

Survivors have described how the disaster unfolded as they tried to leave the event in Mughalgarhi village.

An eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, told the BBC everything was “going fine”, until “all of a sudden I heard screams and before I knew it, people were falling on each other”.

“Many were crushed and I couldn’t do much. I am just lucky to have survived.”

“When the sermon finished, everyone started running out,” a woman named only as Shakuntala told the Press Trust of India news agency.

“People fell in a drain by the road. They started falling one on top of the other and got crushed to death.”

Umesh Kumar Tripathi, chief medical officer from the neighbouring district of Etah, told reporters the “stampede” had left at least three children dead.

Distressing images from the site are being circulated online. Some videos showed the injured being taken to hospitals in pick-up trucks, tuk tuks and even motorbikes.

A clip seen by the BBC showed several bodies left at the entrance of a local hospital as relatives screamed for help. In Hathras, the screams of distraught family members can be heard in the local hospital.



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