India stampede 'kills 16' at Haridwar festival

Injured woman in Haridwar, 8 November There are fears the number of casualties could rise

Related Stories

At least 16 people have been killed in a stampede in the northern Indian holy town of Haridwar, officials say.

About 50 others were injured as devotees gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder of a Hindu sect.

Thousands have been attending the ceremony for Sri Ram Sharma, who founded the Gayatri Parivar sect.

Reports said the number of casualties could rise. Television footage showed injured people being taken to hospital.

"More worshippers turned up than the place could accommodate and so the stampede occurred," a senior local official, D Santhel Pandiyan, told the AFP news agency.

Many women and children are reported to be among the dead and injured.

Hemant Sahu, who works for the event organisers, told AFP: "When the big ritual was going on, too many people rushed forward to make their offerings to the holy fire and the crowd got out of control."


Reports said a number of people fell but other pilgrims continued to push.

Haridwar, 173km (107 miles) north of Delhi, is a temple-filled town where the Ganges emerges from the Himalayan mountains and is considered sacred by Hindus.

The huge numbers attending religious festivals in India make stampedes a frequent risk.

A stampede at a festival in the southern state of Kerala in January killed more than 100 people.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.