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HomeIndia NewsStampede at India's Uttar Pradesh religious gathering leaves 121 dead

Stampede at India’s Uttar Pradesh religious gathering leaves 121 dead

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Survivors of a stampede that resulted in 121 deaths at a religious event in Uttar Pradesh, India, recounted the chaos and terror they experienced. The incident, which occurred on Tuesday during a Hindu gathering, saw participants crushed as they tried to navigate the overcrowded site.

Initial reports indicate that the event, which was permitted for 80,000 attendees, saw over 250,000 people gather. This significant overflow led to people falling into a water-logged ditch as they tried to escape the crowded area. “Everyone—the entire crowd, including women and children—left the event site at once,” said police officer Sheela Maurya, 50, who was on duty at the time. “There wasn’t enough space, and everyone just fell on top of each other.”

The aftermath of the stampede left the field littered with discarded clothing and shoes. Forensic teams were seen combing through the site on Wednesday morning, searching for clues to understand the full extent of the tragedy.

Officials and witnesses provided varying accounts of what might have triggered the stampede. Some suggested that the panic began when attendees tried to collect soil from the footsteps of the preacher, while others pointed to a sudden dust storm that caused confusion and fear. “The main highway next to the field was packed with people and vehicles for kilometers,” said Hori Lal, 45, a local resident. “Once people started falling to the side and getting crushed, there was just chaos.”

Uttar Pradesh’s state disaster management center confirmed the death toll on Wednesday, listing 121 casualties, most of whom were women. The incident is one of the deadliest stampedes in recent years at Indian religious gatherings, which are often marred by poor crowd control and safety issues.

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In the aftermath, families continued to search for their loved ones. Ram Nivas, 35, a farmer, was still looking for his sister-in-law, who went missing during the stampede. “We just hope she’s still alive,” he said quietly.

Religious gatherings in India frequently draw massive crowds, and this tragedy underscores ongoing concerns about the safety measures and crowd management at such events.

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