Stampede Blamed on ‘Overcrowding’

    ALLAHABAD, INDIA - FEBRUARY 11: Hindu devotees cram as they board their train at Allahabad train station, the site of last nights stampede,  during the Maha Kumbh Mela on February 11, 2013 in Allahabad, India. According to a government sources report, at least 36 people died in a stampede on a stair case as a train was pulling up on the busiest day of the Maha Kumbh Mela, . The Maha Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of Sangam, the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Kumbh Mela alternates between the cities of Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The Maha Kumbh Mela celebrated at the holy site of Sangam in Allahabad, is the largest and holiest, celebrated over 55 days, and is expected to attract over 100 million people. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

    Daniel Berehulak/Getty

    Indian officials said Monday that overcrowding was to blame for a deadly stampede a day earlier that killed 36 at a train station during the Kumbh Mela festival. The railway minister insisted “adequate arrangements” had been made for the festival, but too many people had crammed onto the platform, causing the stampede. At least 39 others were injured, and officials said many of the victims were women and children. Additional trains will be run Monday to get some of the people out of Allahabad, where the festival is taking place. The event, held every 12 years, is expected to bring 100 million bathers to the Sangam—the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati rivers. The head of organizing the festival resigned, saying he was stepping down on “moral grounds.”

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