Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 11:54 UK

India stampede death toll rises

Indian police and volunteers carry injured people following a stampede at a Hindu Temple in Jodhpur on September 30, 2008
The dead and injured were taken to different hospitals

An enquiry into a stampede at a Hindu temple in the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan on Tuesday has revealed that 224 people were killed.

Earlier figures had put the number of dead to be around 147 people.

Officials say the higher number has emerged because fatality figures from five hospitals dealing with the tragedy have only just been compiled.

The stampede at the Chamunda Devi temple in the city of Jodhpur happened after devotees panicked.

It is still not clear what caused the incident.

Officials said that the dead and injured were taken to three privately-run and two government-run hospitals - which meant it was difficult before now to compile a definitive list of fatalities.

The latest figures have been provided by a panel presided over by a retired judge which has been asked by the state government of Rajasthan to examine the cause of the disaster.

Officials say that about 57 people were injured in the stampede and are being treated in various hospitals in the historic city of Jodhpur.

Police say that efforts to estimate the number of fatalities have been further complicated because local people took their dead relatives home for cremation without informing the authorities.


It was the fourth time this year that lives have been lost during a stampede at a religious festival in India.


Thousands of people have visited the hospitals where the injured are being treated.

People have accused the administration of not making enough arrangements at the temple to deal with the rush of devotees, says the BBC's Narayan Bareth in Jodhpur.

Crowd control at most religious shrines in India is usually rudimentary.

Last month 140 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at a mountain temple in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

The Chamunda Devi temple is inside the huge 15th Century Mehrangarh Fort, high above Jodhpur's "blue city".

On Tuesday, thousands of people had made their way to the hill-top temple overlooking the city before dawn.

It is not entirely clear why the stampede happened, but something triggered panic among the thousands of men queuing in the narrow lane leading to the temple.

Hundreds rushed down the hill crushing those waiting at the bottom.

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