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Worshippers Die During Panic at Sabarimala


KERALA, INDIA, January 15, 2011: At least 64 Hindu worshippers were killed when they were caught in a crowd crush caused by a runaway jeep during a ceremony in a remote area of the Indian state of Kerala yesterday. More than 100 people were also injured in the accident, and the authorities said they feared the death toll could rise due to the remoteness and the difficulties of rescue operations.
Throngs of pilgrims had gathered at the Sabarimala hilltop shrine for the annual holy day of Makara Jyothi, 14 January, and the culmination of 45 days of fasting. With the festivities over, the crowds made their way back down, but a jeep stalled on the dirt road. As several people tried to jumpstart the engine, they lost control of the vehicle and it rolled down the hill, crashing into people.

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