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Dozens Killed In Stampede At Indian Festival
At least 36 people, mostly women, have been killed in a stampede at a railway station near India's Kumbh Mela festival.
Amit Malviya, a spokesman for the northern and central railway, confirmed that 20 bodies had been identified, with authorities waiting for relatives to come forward to claim 16 others.
Of those identified, 14 are female and six are men, with the youngest victim being an eight-year-old girl. The oldest victim was a 75-year-old man.
"Twenty persons have been identified (and) we are trying to ascertain the identities of the remaining persons," he said.
Dozens more were injured in the stampede.
The stampede occurred at Allahabad station when pilgrims were heading home from the most auspicious day of the Kumbh Mela, which drew 30 million people to the banks of the River Ganges.
Hindus believe a swim in the sacred waters of the river cleanses them of their sins.
Local officials said the railings on a bridge at the station had given way under the pressure of the mass of people, while witnesses said that police had baton-charged the crowd, triggering panic.
Injured people were taken away in ambulances from Allahabad station, but relatives said emergency services took hours to reach the scene.
"My sister is lying here unattended to for the last two hours. Why is no-one coming?" a woman from the state of Bihar told the NDTV channel from the platform.
After the stampede, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement saying that he was "deeply shocked to learn of the unfortunate incident".
Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal headed to Allahabad to investigate the accident.
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