Thousands of pilgrims had gathered at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Kashmir, India when a rush resulted in at least 12 people being crushed to death and more than a dozen injured
A rush has resulted in at least 12 pilgrims being crushed to death and more than a dozen injured at a Hindu shrine where thousands of people gathered to celebrate the New Year.
Footage on social media shows a huge crowd gathered at the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Kashmir, India and pilgrims desperate for medical treatment.
Twelve pilgrims died and 14 were injured in an early morning rush at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, ”said senior police officer Mukesh Singh.
All of the injured were hospitalized, he added.
The onslaught broke out when a huge crowd of devotees who had arrived at the beginning of the new year entered the shrine of Vaishno Devi Bhawan, another official said.
“Mahesh,” said the rush started near one of the gates to the shrine.
“Something happened near one of the gates and I found myself in a crowd of people. I suffocated and fell, but somehow managed to get up, ”he said abc news.
“I saw people moving over the corpses. It was a terrible sight, but I managed to save some of the injured. “
Another pilgrim named Priyansh said he and ten friends from New Delhi went to the shrine on Friday night and two of them were killed.
Getty Images / iStockphoto)
“I’ve never seen anything like it”, he is supposed to have said.
“I am very saddened by the loss of life caused by an onslaught on Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a message of condolence.
An official said a high-level investigation was ordered.
Mass rushes are tragically not uncommon at Indian religious festivals, as many people participate and crowd into a small space.
In 2013, at least 115 people were killed when pilgrims attended a Hindu festival in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and an onslaught crushed people or drowned in a river.