At least 116 people killed in crush at religious event in India, say local police

In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, a devastating crowd crush occurred during a religious gathering, resulting in the death of over a hundred individuals, including 108 women and seven children, according to the state’s Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar Singh. The incident took place at a prayer meeting, or satsang, in the Mughal Garhi village in the Hathras district.

The disaster transpired after the event had ended, when a significant number of people went to touch the feet of the religious figure or to collect soil from the venue, as per local tradition. This mass movement resulted in people tumbling into an open sewer, causing a tragic chain reaction.

Singh stated that the organizers had filed an application indicating an expected attendance of 80,000 people, but more people showed up than anticipated. The organizers are now under investigation for exceeding the permitted attendance levels, as well as failing to comply with the district’s safety requirements.

In the aftermath, survivors recounted their harrowing experiences, describing a scene where people started falling on top of each other and those who were crushed perished. Efforts are being made to provide medical care for the injured, and post-mortem examinations are being organized at various locations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and emphasized the government’s commitment to aiding the victims and coordinating with the state government. An investigation into the incident will be conducted by a high-level committee, and the organizers are expected to face strict punishment.

This tragic event brings to mind another crush that occurred at one of India’s holiest shrines in Jammu in January 2022, resulting in at least a dozen deaths. The incident in Uttar Pradesh has been updated with additional information.

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