04 Nov 2006 Source: Reuters
BHUBANESWAR, India, Nov 4 (Reuters) – At least four pilgrims, including three elderly women, died and 18 were injured in a stampede at a crowded Hindu temple in the east Indian state of Orissa on Saturday, police said.
They said thousands of people, most of them elderly, had gathered outside the famous Jagannath temple in Puri, 65 km (40 miles) south of the state capital Bhubaneswar on the eve of an auspicious festival.
The rush occurred when the temple gates were opened at around at around 6 a.m.
Senior police officer Sanjib Panda told reporters about 15,000 people had surged into the temple in Puri, a major Hindu pilgrimage site in India.
In January last year, 265 pilgrims were killed in a stampede near a temple in the western Maharashtra state in one of the worst such incidents in recent years.