Several people were killed in stampede on religious shrine in Kashmir | News

Development story,

Mata Vaishno Devi is one of the most respected Hindu shrines in northern India, and tens of thousands of people visit it every day.

Officials said that at least 12 people were killed and 13 injured in a stampede at a religious shrine in Indian-controlled Kashmir early on Saturday morning.

“At least 12 people were killed and 13 were injured,” a senior government official who asked not to be named told AFP.

He said: “As the route to the mountaintop shrine is crowded with devotees trying to make traditional New Year visits and prayers, the death toll may be higher.”

Other news reports stated that as many as 20 people were injured.

The official Twitter account of India’s CNN-News18 also confirmed reports of stampede and casualties. The television broadcast also showed that several ambulances were rushing to the scene of the incident.

Mata Vaishno Devi is one of the most respected Hindu shrines in northern India, and tens of thousands of people visit it every day.

Another disaster management official confirmed the death toll, stating that the stampede occurred at 2:45 am local time (21:15 GMT).

In a statement posted on social media, Indian President Rashtrapati Bhavan stated that he “is very sad to know that an unfortunate stampede took the lives of devotees of Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan.”

“I express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I hope those injured will recover soon,” he added.

The Governor’s Office of Jammu and Kashmir stated that it has ordered a “high-level investigation” to investigate the incident.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened by the loss of life,” adding that he is in contact with local officials.

“Express condolences to the families of the victims. May the injured recover soon.” Modi said.

During Indian religious festivals, fatal stampede incidents are quite common, with large crowds gathering in small areas with few safety measures or crowd control measures.

In October 2016, a stampede occurred at a Hindu religious ceremony on the outskirts of Varanasi, a city known for its temples in Uttar Pradesh. At least 24 people were killed and dozens of others were injured.

In October 2013, a stampede occurred in Madhya Pradesh in central India, causing casualties More than 110 people, mainly women and children.



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