Stampede Kills 18 People in Mumbai at Spiritual Leader’s Homage

At least 18 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a stampede in Mumbai’s Malabar Hill area where a crowd had gathered to pay homage to a spiritual leader, the police said.

The stampede started after 1 a.m., an official of the Mumbai Police said in a telephone interview today, asking not to be identified as the person isn’t authorized to speak to the media. The official didn’t give more details.

People gathered in the south Mumbai locality to pay homage to Dawoodi Bohra community’s spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin who died yesterday at the age of 102, Press Trust of India reported, citing government officials it didn’t identify.

Stampedes during mass gatherings aren’t uncommon in India, the world’s second-most populous nation. In October, at least 111 people, including women and children, were killed when rumors that a bridge was about to collapse triggered panic and caused pilgrims to jump into a river.

A crowd surge at a railway station in northern India killed at least 36 people in February last year as Hindu devotees drawn by one of the holiest days of the world’s largest religious gathering rushed to board trains. In 2010, 76 people died in four incidents. About 102 people were killed in January 2011 at a Hindu shrine in the southern state of Kerala, according to government data.

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