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Ear to the Ground

Pilgrim Stampede Kills 140

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Posted on Aug 3, 2008
AP photo / Rahul Sharma

The bodies of devotees who were attending a nine-day religious festival at the Naina Devi Temple in northern India.

A stampede of worshipers at an Indian temple killed at least 140 on Sunday, many of them women and children. Rumors of a landslide had caused thousands of pilgrims to flee the site, trampling others.


BBC:

A rain shelter on the mountain path to the temple collapsed, triggering rumours of a landslide.

Many of the victims were children, trampled to death during the panic. Fifty more people were hurt and are being treated in hospital.

Tens of thousands of devotees had been gathering to celebrate the annual nine-day festival of Shravan Navratras.

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By Gmonst, August 4, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

It probably has more to do with a very large amount of people in a small space with little organization, than religion.  The number of people that come to Hindu festivals in India is quite astounding.  Stampedes are always possible when large groups are crammed into small spaces with only one way out.  They have happened at sporting events here in the west with no religion involved.  Imagine if we entered those large stadiums on a small winding mountain path without security or organization and a barricade broke and someone shouted “landslide.”  I don’t see how you can spin this to be the fault of religion, or some tendency of the devout to stampede. Its not like it was a religious sanctioned stampede.  It was just the tragic panic that can happen when large groups are in small spaces and something breaks.  Humans are humans religious or not.

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By Leefeller, August 4, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

As Religion has shown us the way again with another famous “stampede of worshipers” , the overall sadness of the devoted has no bounds.

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