12 dead in New Year temple stampede in India

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At least 12 people died and several others were critically wounded after the New Year temple stampede at a religious shrine in the India-administered Kashmir.

The pilgrims were visiting the temple of Mata Vaishno Devi on Saturday to mark the New Year when the incident occurred. The shrine, which is located in the India-administered Kashmir, usually sees thousands of visitors every day, but there is always a peak during the holiday seasons, like the New Year.

It is still not clear what caused the pandemic, but the eyewitnesses say that the crowds at the site were being mismanaged.

The shrine lies near the town of Katra and it is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in Hinduism. Visitor numbers have been capped at 25,000 due to the pandemic.

Police officers at the scene told the media that in addition to the 12 dead, 14 others were critically injured and taken to the hospital. There is a possibility that the death toll can rise as the shrine is jam-packed with visitors.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet: “Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to a stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. May the injured recover soon.”


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