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Hindu festival stampede leaves 6 women dead

(UDHAYAM, INDIA) – At least 6 women have died after getting caught in a stampede at a Hindu festival on the River Ganges.

The women were killed as people rushed onto a jetty as they returned from the two-day harvest festival in Gangasagar, West Bengal, a State Minister said.

Another 10 people were injured, and rescue workers were searching the water for others who may have fallen in.

The disaster came less than a day after a boat overturned hundreds of miles upstream, leaving at least 24 dead.

That accident happened on Saturday evening as people were ferrying back after watching kite-flying celebrations to mark the festival near Patna, Bihar State’s Capital.

12 People managed to swim to shore, and eight were hospitalised after being rescued, Bihar State’s Disaster Management Minister Chandrashekhar told Reuters News Agency.

The boat was only meant to be carrying 30 people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief for the victims of both incidents on Twitter, promising the families of the deceased 200,000 rupees ($2,935/£2,440) each.

It is estimated some 1.5 million people had gathered in Gangasagar, where the Ganges River flows into the sea, for the Hindu harvest festival of Makar Sankranti.

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