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August 25, 2008

Hindu Temple Disaster in New Delhi: 145 People Die In Stampede

At least 145 people were killed in a stampede at a Hindu temple on Sunday in New Delhi, India. The details are sketchy at best. Witnesses and authorities have different accounts for the cause of the stampede that stole so many lives. The bodies that are adding up in hospital tell the sad story the best. The actual details don’t seem quite as important at this point. A great number of people are dead.

The stampede at the Naina Dei Temple in Himachal Pradesh state began around 10 a.m. The authorities say that it was caused by rumors of fighting near the temple. However, witnesses say that the stampede began because of a beam inside the temple that looked like it was breaking. Which ever is the case, the worshippers began try to flee the temple.

Witnesses also say that the police hit felling worshippers which made the stampede even worse. The police are not acknowledging that this is the case. Instead that are asking the public to not give into to rumors. They stick by their story that fighting was what prompted this stampede. The actual truth may never be known. All we know is that a stampede was started.

At this time the death toll is at 145 and 40 people have been injured. Hopefully no more deaths will come from this unfortunate event. This stampede occurred on the second day of a nine-day religious festival at the temple. Rescue efforts were hindered by the fact that just a narrow road is the only way up to the temple. The people the perished were taken to a hospital in Punjab where autopsies will be performed on them.

Another stampede took the lives of at least 258 people in 2005. That stampede was caused by impatient worshippers that began to push on a narrow road that led to a Hindu shine. So this type of incident is not totally unheard of which means that there must be something more to the story. If stampedes happen often during this festival something need to be reevaluated.

It is very unfortunate that so many people have died while trying to celebrate a holy day. However, since there has been more than one of these stampedes during this holy festival over the past few years, officials may want to consider making the areas around this temples safer. The temples themselves may also need some repairs. These stampedes are senseless losses of many lives.

Rescue workers were not able to get to the injured very quickly. They had to use cable car to get to the mountaintop. This seems like a very ineffective way of rescuing injured people. However, there was little choice because of the way that they temple is situated. A section of the road was closed to help facilitate the rescue efforts. Some of those that died may have been in a position to be saved but ran out of time. This makes the tragedy even more disturbing. Hopefully provisions will be taken to make sure that this does not happen again.

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