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Inefficient handling led to Jodhpur stampede


Sep 30, 2008 at 08:05pm IST

Jodhpur: At least 130 persons have been killed and hundreds injured in a stampede at the Chamunda temple in Jodhpur. Authorities were ill-prepared and claimed that the crowd was 'simply too much'.

Thousands of pilgrims had gathered along the 2 km long slope to the Chamunda Devi temple to mark the beginning of the Navratra festival. Then as eyewitnesses say there was a scramble in the men's queue, some devotees slipped and soon it turned out into a massive stampede within minutes, a day of celebration turned into one of mourning.

“There was a lot of crowd and a steep slope. Some people slipped and everyone else lost balance and there was a stampede,” says an eyewitness.

No medical help was available and the pilgrims had to carry the injured themselves. Some even attempted to resuscitate the unconscious victims

“We carried them ourselves, there was no other help, and vehicles couldn't come in,” says another eye witness.

Authorities claim they had deployed enough men to handle the event but also admitted to lapses that proved fatal.

“There was a ramp and that collapsed, and people slipped causing chaos and suffocation,” says, collector, Naresh Pal Gangwar.

What clearly emerged was that the government was unable to handle the crowd and totally ill prepared for the tragedy that followed.

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