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  Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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At least 179 people died on Thursday morning in a stampede
At least 179 people died on Thursday morning in a stampede at a temple in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, as pilgrims gathered for the start of a Hindu festival, the Times of India reported.

Panic broke out after some people slipped on a slope leading up to the 15th-century Chamunda Devi Temple in Jodhpur, located in a hilltop fort.

The paper said most of the victims were men, as the tragedy occurred in a separate male queue on the 2 km path to the temple. The death toll may reach 200.

"As some devotees slipped on the slope on the temple path, others gathered there started falling on each other causing the stampede. A majority of those killed died due to suffocation as a result of the stampede," the newspaper quoted Rajasthan's Principal Secretary S N Thanvi as saying.

A local police chief said no casualties have been reported in the queue for women and children.

Some eyewitness said a wall of the temple had also collapsed in the stampede.

Over 10,000 pilgrims had gathered at the temple for the start of the nine-day Navratra festival, at which pilgrims worship the Mother Goddess.

Deadly stampedes are a relatively common occurrence at Indian temples. In early August, 145 people were killed and over 300 injured in a stampede outside the Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh, northern India.


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