15 Sep 2009

Women, children die in Pakistan food stampede

10:34 am on 15 September 2009

At least 14 women and children in Pakistan have been killed in a stampede as charity workers handed out free flour in Karachi.

Officials say dozens of other people were injured.

The BBC reports the flour was being handed out in a poor, crowded neighbourhood of the city by a private group as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Reuters news agency reports hundreds of women had gathered outside a building and were pushing up some stairs when the accident happened.

One witness said people tumbled over each other when the lights on the stairs went off because of a power cut, the agency said.

Charities and others often give free food to poorer people during Ramadan, when believers fast from dawn to dusk.