Stampede at Hindu Religious Festival Leaves 22 Dead

At least 22 people were killed and 10 others injured in a stampede during a Hindu religious bathing festival in southern India, according to a government official. Arun Kumar, a state administrator, said the stampede occurred in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh state on Tuesday as tens of thousands of people pushed forward to bathe in the Godavari river during the Pushkaralu festival. Police said the stampede was triggered by some pilgrims who were trying to retrieve their shoes, which had fallen off in the rush to the river bank. Festival participants believe a bath in the river can rid them of their sins. Deadly stampedes are a repeated occurrence during Indian religious festivals, where large crowds gather in small areas with few safety or crowd control measures.


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