People died during a festival in India – level 3

People died during a festival in India – level 3

14-02-2013 06:00

It’s the world’s largest religious festival, usually a time of joy. But Kumbh Mela turned to tragedy on Sunday when at least 30 people were killed in a stampede.

An overcrowded railway station footbridge is thought to have buckled and the railing collapsed as a result. That sent some people slipping down the stairs and the panic trigged the stampede.

Kumbh Mela only happens once every 12 years. Tens of millions of pilgrims stream across India to the small northern city of Allahabad to bathe in the river there. It lasts for 2 months but Sunday when the stampede happened was the most auspicious day of the festival.

Some of those who survived the stampede are pointing the finger at the police. But the cause of the collapse is still being investigated. The head of the Kumbh Mela festival organizing committee has resigned.

Interesting words: joy (happiness), stampede (when a group of people starts to run because they are scared), buckle (bend or curve), pilgrim (religious person who travels to a holy place), auspicious (hopeful), committee (people chosen to make decisions).

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