Stampede at religious event in northern India kills dozens

In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a tragic stampede occurred at a religious event on Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people, primarily women and children. The incident took place as attendees were leaving the event, which was held in an open-air venue with a tent for shade, due to the oppressive heat and stuffiness.

The temperature in the area reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity levels at 77 percent, causing the heat index to surpass 110 degrees. Ashish Kumar, the district magistrate of Hathras district, stated that the stampede occurred when people were leaving the congregation due to the heat and stuffiness.

Chaitra V, a senior local official, reported that there was adequate space at the venue, and the event had obtained the necessary permits. However, she explained that the problem arose when people got stuck in the sludge while rushing out of the venue, trying to reach a water source to escape the heat.

The injured and deceased were transported to hospitals in Hathras and neighboring Etah district. The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, expressed condolences for the victims and directed local authorities to conduct relief and rescue operations and provide treatment to the injured.

This stampede is among the deadliest in India in recent years, with a similar incident at a temple in 2013 resulting in at least 110 fatalities. The religious event appeared to be a gathering led by a local Hindu preacher, with congregants singing around the preacher. Witnesses described a large crowd at the event.

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