1 Oct 2008

147 die in Indian temple stampede

3:36 pm on 1 October 2008

At least 147 people died in a stampede at a temple in the Indian state of Rajasthan as Hindus gathered for one of the most important religious festivals of the year. Another 55 were injured.

The Chamunda temple is sited inside a hilltop fort near the city of Jodhpur.

Officials said the crowds were especially large on Tuesday, as pilgrims gathered for the start of the nine-day Navratri festival.

Local television showed volunteers carrying bodies and trying to revive them on the street.

Stampedes are relatively common in India. Last month, a similar crush outside a Hindu temple in Himachal Pradesh state in northern India killed at least 145 pilgrims.

In January 2005, at least 265 Hindu pilgrims were killed in a stampede near a remote temple in Maharashtra state.