100 dead, over 200 injured in stampede at Naina Devi temple

via www.zeenews.com published on August 3, 2008

Shimla : At least 100 people have been killed and over 200 injured in a stampede at the famous Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh’s Bilaspur district. Media reports however, put the death toll at over 125. Authorities have so far managed to recover 90 bodies.

The stampede reportedly occurred at around 10:45 am after rumours of a landslide in the area spread. Others said the stampede began after a railing outside the temple collapsed.

According to the Bilaspur police, at least 30 children are among those killed in the stampede, while many of the other dead include women.

Relief operations are underway at the site of the incident and the injured have been rushed to various hospitals in nearby towns. Teams of doctors are also being sent to the site from nearby areas.

The devotees had gathered at the temple, which is located at a hill-top 160 km from Shimla, in huge numbers to attend the 10-day Sharavan Navratras fair that began on Saturday. As it was Sunday, the number of devotees present there had reportedly risen to nearly 50,000.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of the dead, while those critically injured will get Rs 50,000 and those with minor injuries will receive Rs 25,000 each.

The state government has also ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident.

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