14 Oct 2013

Pilgrims killed in stampede on bridge

9:05 am on 14 October 2013

At least 91 people, mostly women and children have been killed in a stampede at a Hindu festival in central India.

Local officials said many were crushed after panic broke out on a bridge near a temple in Madhya Pradesh state and others died when they jumped from the bridge into the swollen river below.

Emergency crews and specialist divers were still searching the river for bodies.

Hundreds of thousands had gathered near the town of Datia for the festival, the BBC reports.

The narrow bridge is about 500m long and had only recently been rebuilt following another stampede in 2007.

Madhya Pradesh health minister Narottam Mishra said 89 people were confirmed to have died.

Three similar tragedies have occurred in the past year, and in 2011 more than 100 died at a festival in the southern state of Kerala.

Inside Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort, more than 220 people were killed in 2008 in a stampede at the Chamunda Devi Hindu temple.