10/14/2013, 00.00
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Madhya Pradesh stampede to enter temple: 109 Hindu pilgrims die

Rumors of a possible collapse of the bridge - on which 25 thousand people were passing - sparked panic and stampede . The victims were mostly women and children, overwhelmed by the crowd or who fell from bridge. The pilgrims were headed to the temple of Ratangarh to honor the " mother goddess " Durga.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The toll from the incident that took place yesterday in Madhya Pradesh, where thousands of Hindu pilgrims were involved in a stampede near the temple of Ratangarh, now stands at 109 dead . The victims were mostly women and children. Official sources speak of 133 injured. The authorities have already conducted autopsies , allowing families to proceed with the cremation , according to the traditional funeral rites of Hinduism .

Panic and the subsequent stampede seems to have been triggered by rumors about the possible collapse of the bridge that leads to the entrance of the temple. At the time, at least 25 thousand people were on the structure . Most of the victims who died were trampled on by the crowd , while others have lost their lives by jumping from the bridge.

Every year hundreds of thousands flock to the remote temple of Ratangarh to honor Durga, the "Divine Mother " of the Hindu pantheon , depicted riding a tiger with many arms , wielding weapons and tracing symbolic gestures . She represents both creation and destruction. The worship of Durga is celebrated during the 10th and the last day of the festival of Navaratra .


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