Police say 10 dead in stampede in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — At least 10 people were killed and dozens more injured Friday in a stampede during a Hindu religious gathering in Bangladesh, police said.

Local police chief Nazrul Islam said the accident took place in Langalbandh, a Hindu pilgrimage spot on the banks of the Brahmaputra river, 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of capital Dhaka.

The annual religious bathing ritual in Bangladesh’s Narayanganj district draws thousands of Hindu devotees from Bangladesh and also neighboring India and Nepal.

Nikhil Chandra Das, a devotee, said the accident occurred after rumors spread that a bridge at the festival site had collapsed and people started running in panic.

Das blamed local authorities for not controlling the crowds.

“Had there been enough volunteers or police, the incident could have been avoided,” he said.

Mohammed Jakaria, a senior police official in the district, said that more police had been sent to the festival site after the accident and the bathing ritual had resumed after the stampede had been controlled.