Stampede at Religious Event: 121 Dead, Mostly Women

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.03 - 2024 9:07 AM CET

Photo: PradeepGaurs /
Photo: PradeepGaurs /
A tragic stampede at a Hindu religious gathering in northern India has killed 121 people.

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The death toll from a stampede at a Hindu religious event in Phulrai Mughal Garhi village, Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, has risen to 121, officials reported on Wednesday.

Around 250,000 people attended the event, far more than the allowed 80,000, according to a police report.

Overcrowding Leads to Disaster

As reported by Reuters, the stampede happened on Tuesday when the crowd, which was more than three times the allowed number, gathered to see preacher Surajpal, also known as 'Bhole Baba'.

As the preacher tried to leave in his car, thousands of people rushed forward, causing chaos.

The police report described how people were trampled and others fell into muddy fields nearby, making the situation worse.

Authorities confirmed that 121 people were killed, including 112 women and seven children, with 31 more injured.

Doctors at the Hathras district hospital said most deaths were due to suffocation.

Dr. Neeta Jain explained, "The injured are fewer because... if you get caught in a stampede, the injuries will mostly be fractures, scratches, or body pain, so most people got up and left."

Eyewitnesses and a junior official's letter described how the stampede started when people ran towards the preacher's vehicle but were stopped by his staff. Many fell to the ground, while others tried to escape by running towards nearby fields, slipping and falling as they ran.

Among the victims was Ruby, a 30-year-old woman who had traveled 300 km to attend the event with her father, Chedilal.

He described the experience: "I heard terrifying screams from women (during the stampede) and there were bodies piled up on the ground near the exit. I was scared, I ran away and started calling my daughter on the phone."

After searching all night, he found her body at the Hathras district hospital.


The site of the event, located in paddy fields next to a busy highway, was littered with waste and partly flooded after rain on Wednesday morning.

Bamboo poles and a banner with the preacher's picture were the only signs of the tragedy.