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Stampede at festival in eastern India kills 14 people, most of them children

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
updated 1:58 AM EST, Tue November 20, 2012
A victim of the stampede is rushed to the hospital after a bridge collapsed along the banks of the Ganges River on Monday.
A victim of the stampede is rushed to the hospital after a bridge collapsed along the banks of the Ganges River on Monday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The stampede occurred near the river Ganges in Patna, the capital of Bihar state
  • Sparks from an electric short circuit triggered panic, police said
  • The area was packed with hundreds of thousands of devotees

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Fourteen people, most of them children, have been killed in a stampede during a Hindu festival in eastern India, police said Tuesday.

The crush occurred Monday on a bridge along the banks of the river Ganges in Patna, the capital of Bihar state, according to authorities.

The site was packed with hundreds of thousands of devotees celebrating the annual festival of Chhath, Patna's police chief Jayant Kant said.

During Chhath, one of the biggest festivals of eastern India, worshipers gather along river banks to offer prayers to the sun.

An electric short circuit generated sparks from power cables, triggering the panic that led to the stampede, Kant said.

About eight people were initially reported Monday to have been injured in the crush. But Kant said Tuesday that authorities no longer had anybody recorded as injured after some people died from their injuries.

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