Hundreds of Hindus Die in Pilgrimage Stampede

January 26, 2005

Source: The Guardian,12559,1398595,00.html

On January 26, 2005 The Guardian reported, "Hundreds of Hindu pilgrims were crushed or burned to death in a stampede and electrical fire at a religious festival in western India. More than 300,000 people were jammed into a hill-top Mandher Devi temple and along a narrow road for the annual pilgrimage near the town of Wai, about 160 miles south-east of Mumbai. Last night television showed hospital corridors filled with relatives of the injured. But reporters at the site of the stampede said that the bodies had been left lined up by abandoned roadside stalls. 'About 300 people are dead,' said Sharad Jadhav, a resident. Reports last night said that that figure could rise as some bodies were taken to hospitals in Satara, about 20 miles away. Many of the dead were women and children, who had been climbing the hill to the deity Kalubai at the temple 1,200 metres (4,000ft) above sea level."