86 killed in fatal stampede in India

10:52, January 15, 2011      

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At least 86 pilgrims were killed and 90 others injured in a fatal stampede in southwestern India on Friday evening, local media reported overnight.

The tragedy occurred at 8 p.m., when a jeep ploughed through a crowd of pilgrims who were returning from a temple after a ritual in a narrow trekking path of the forest in Idukki district of the southwestern state of Kerala. When the jeep suddenly overturned, it triggered the stampede as the pilgrims ran away, local police said.

The temple's spokesman said there were several thousand pilgrims attending the holy event, and 46 bodies have been recovered from the site. He said at least 86 people were killed and 90 others injured, according to media reports.

A witness said many pilgrims were trampled when the huge crowd surged forward after a barricade broke.

The injured are receiving treatment in nearby hospitals, and the toll could go up, according to local police.

The site of the incident is a remote area on the border with the state of Tamil Nadu. Many victims were from Tamil Nadu, and were returning to their homes, said local police.

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