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At least 16 killed in stampede at religious festival in India

By the CNN Wire Staff
November 8, 2011 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Thousands had gathered to celebrate the birthday of an ashram founder, PTI says
  • Stampedes have occurred regularly in India
  • In January, 100 people were killed in southern India

New Delhi (CNN) -- A stampede at a religious festival in northern India killed at least 16 people Monday, officials said.

The stampede took place at an ashram, or religious community, in Haridwar, 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of New Delhi. Thousands had gathered to celebrate the 100th birthday of the ashram's founder, Shriram Sharma, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Of the 16 who died, 14 were women, said Harbeer Singh, the subdivisional magistrate of Haridwar.

Thirty two others were injured, he said.

Stampedes at events in India have occurred several times because large crowds gather at narrow, congested areas.

In January, a stampede near a religious temple killed 100 people in southern India's Kerala state..

And in March 2010, more than 60 people were killed during a stampede at a temple in the Uttar Pradesh state.

CNN's S. Gopal contributed to this report.

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