Here are some of the deadliest stampedes in world history

Sep 24, 2015, 19:05 IST | A Correspondent

As the death toll continues to rise in the stampede which occurred in Mina, close to Mecca, during the annual Hajj, mid-day lists some of the worst stampede tragedies from around the world

With hundreds having died in the Hajj stampede at Mecca on Thursday, we look at some of the most deadly crushes in recent history.

Stampedes at the Hajj 

With millions of poeple gathering for the five-day event, the Hajj has witnessed multiple deadly stampedes in the recent past. As many as three million people arrive at Mecca each year for the pilgrimage.

Some other stampedes during Hajj in recent years:

February 1, 2004: 244 pilgrims killed and a similar number injured at al-Jamarat

March 5, 2001: 35 people killed in stampede at al-Jamarat

April 9, 1998: Around 180 pilgrims trampled to death at al-Jamarat

April 15, 1997: Fires driven by high winds tear through a sprawling, overcrowded tent city at Mina, trapping and killing more than 340 pilgrims and injuring 1,500

May 23, 1994: 270 pilgrims, mostly Indonesian, killed at al-Jamarat during the stoning of the devil ritual.

July 2, 1990: 1,426 pilgrims killed in stampede in overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to holy sites in Mecca in the worst Hajj tragedy of modern times

January 12, 2006: A stampede during the stoning of the Devil on the last day of the Hajj in Mina killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more

September 24, 2015: At least 453 muslim pilgrims killed in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the Haj pilgrimage. A further 719 were injured. The overall number of pilgrims is around 2 million according to the Saudi authorities.

The Hillsborough Stadium Stampede

Policemen rescue soccer fans at Hillsborough stadium April 15, 1989 when 96 fans were crushed to death and hundreds injured after support railings collapsed during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham ForestPolicemen rescue soccer fans at Hillsborough stadium April 15, 1989 when 96 fans were crushed to death and hundreds injured after support railings collapsed during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Pic/AFP

Dubbed Britain’s worst sports disaster, this 1989 stampede saw at least 96 football supporters killed and over 200 more injured. The tragedy took place at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield during the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool after a wall collapsed during a stampede by Liverpool supporters. The crush is said to have resulted from too many Liverpool fans being allowed in to the back of an already full stand at the Leppings Lane end of the ground. Some fans have said bad ticket allocation contributed to the disaster. Liverpool has far more supporters than Nottingham Forest but were given 6,000 fewer tickets and allocated the smaller Leppings Lane stand.

Accra Sports Stadium disaster

The Accra Sport Stadium disaster occurred at the Ohene Djan Stadium, Accra, Ghana on May 9, 2001. 126 people were killed after a stampede at Accra's main soccer stadium when police fired teargas at rioting fans in one of Africa's worst soccer disasters.It occurred during a match between Ghanas' two most successful football teams, Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club and Asante Kotoko.

Kathmandu stampede

The Kathmandu Stadium Disaster occurred on March 12, 1988, in Kathmandu, Nepal, during an association football match between Janakpur Cigarette Factory Ltd and Liberation Army of Bangladesh for the 1988 Tribhuvan Challenge Shield. At least 93 people were killed and 100 more were injured when fans attempted to flee from a hailstorm inside the national Dasarath Rangasala Stadium. The Kathmandu stadium disaster is the 4th biggest stadium disaster (in terms of human loss), and the worst stadium disaster in Nepal.

The Al-Aaimmah Bridge Stampede

Al-Aaimmah Bridge StampedeA TV grab shows Iraqis jumping over a bridge after panic swept through a massive crowd sparked by rumours of a suicide bomber 31 August 2005 in Bahgdad. Pic/AFP

The 2005 Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede occurred on August 31, 2005, when 953 people died following a stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge, which crosses the Tigris river in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The 2005 stampede is considered one of the worst stampedes in modern history. At the time of the stampede, around one million pilgrims had gathered around or were marching toward the Al Kadhimiya Mosque, which is the shrine of the Imam Musa al-Kazim, one of the twelve Shia Imams. Word soon got out of a supposed suicide bomber and people start panicking, having already been put on edge by militants firing rockets at a nearby Shiite shrine earlier in the day. People quickly tried to exit in all directions. The pressure of the crowd caused the bridge's iron railings to give way, dropping hundreds of people about 30 feet into the river. While most deaths were caused by people either suffocating or being crushed to death, some were caused due to drowning in the Tigris river.

1964 Lima soccer riot stampede

At least 300 football fans were killed and another 500 injured in one of the worst sports tragedies in Latin America. This tragedy took place at the National Stadium in Lima, Peru, in 1964 during a Peru vs Argentina Olympic qualifying match. The incident took place after the referee disallowed a Peruvian goal. Fights broke out, and people looking to exit the arena were stuck. Horrible crowd control measures exacerbated the situation.

The Station Nightclub Fire Stampede

In 2003, a stampede in New Jersey’s Station Nightclub resulted in 96 people dying and 187 people being injured. The blaze, which is the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in US history, was caused by pyrotechnic light show of the rock band Great White. The fire led to a stampede when people tried to escape the venue, including jumping out of windows.

The Chamunda Devi Stampede

A stampede in September 30, 2008, at the Chamunda Devi Temple in Jodhpur claimed over 224 people and injured more than 425 lives. The 15th-century temple located within the premises of Mehrangarh Fort at the top of a hill attracts thousands of devotees celebrating the Navaratri festival. A rumour about a bomb being planted in the temple caused panic among pilgrims triggering the deadly stampede. Many people were injured when they lost their footing on the slope approaching the temple.

The Phnom Penh Stampede

People reach for help among some unconscious ones near a bridge in Phnom Penh on November 23, 2010 after at least 347 people died in a stampede while millions were celebrating the end of the annual Water Festival.
People reach for help among some unconscious ones near a bridge in Phnom Penh on November 23, 2010, after at least 347 people died in a stampede while millions were celebrating the end of the annual Water Festival. Pic/AFP

The Phnom Penh stampede occurred on November 22, 2010, when 347 people were killed and another 755 injured in a stampede during the Khmer Water Festival celebrations in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The stampede occurred at the end of the three-day Water Festival to celebrate the end of the monsoon season and the semiannual reversal of flow of the Tonlé Sap river. Initial reports suggested that festival-goers had gathered on Koh Pich ("Diamond Island"), a spit of land stretching into the Tonlé Sap, to watch boat races and then a concert.[4] Around four million people had attended the festival. This 2010 stampede has been called the country’s worst tragedy since the rule of the Khmer Rouge. It occurred on a bridge, where huge crowds of people were crossing in order to go to an island where a large annual water festival was taking place. The suspension bridge went way over capacity, and people didn’t realize that suspension bridges were prone to swaying in the wind under stress. This swaying is believed to have fueled the panic that caused the stampede.

The Victoria Hall Stampede

This stampede may have occurred in the 19th century, but the fact that 183 children died in the tragedy makes it one of the worst disasters in history. In 1883 thousands of children ran over one another for toys, killing 183 kids. The incident took place in Sunderland, England on June 16, 1883 at the Victoria Hall, which was a large concert hall. A local variety show promised that every child in attendance would receive free toys — children immediately began rushing into the aisles, blocking the exits and toppling over one another in an attempt to get the toys. This tragedy inspired the creation of the push bar emergency exit.

The Sabarimala stampede

The Sabarimala stampede occurred on January 14, 2011, on Makara Jyothi Day at Pullumedu near Sabarimala in Kerala. It broke out during an annual pilgrimage, killing 106 people and injuring about 100 more. The pilgrims were returning from the shrine on the last day of a yearly festival, which attracts millions of devotees. It is the worst recorded accident to have occurred in Sabarimala.

2013 Madhya Pradesh stampede

On October 13, 2013, during the festival of Navratri, a stampede broke out on a bridge near the Ratangarh Mata Temple in Datia district, Madhya Pradesh, killing at least 115 people and injuring more than 110.

Pratapgarh stampede

Pratapgarh stampedeA woman cries at a hospital after a stampede in Kunda near Pratapgarh village in Uttar Pradesh, some 65 km from Allahabad, on March 4, 2010. Pic/AFP

The Pratapgarh stampede occurred on March 4, 2010, at Ram Janki temple of the Kripalu Maharaj ashram in Kunda, Uttar Pradesh, India, that killed 63 people and seriously injured 74 more. The incident occurred as 10,000 people attended the temple to receive free items, such as clothes and food, on the first anniversary of the death of the wife of Kripalu Maharaj. An unfinished temple gate fell, which may have led to a panic among the crowd and to the stampede.

Naina Devi temple stampede

The stampede on August 3, 2008, killed 160 devotees and left more than 400 injured in the famous Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh due to a shelter collapse. Witness accounts suggest that events were initiated after a rain shelter collapsed, which worshipers mistakenly took to be a landslide.

Mandher Devi temple stampede

During a religious fair at Mandher Devi temple near Wai in Satara district of western Maharashtra on January 25, 2005, the stampede broke out and at least 350 people were killed and over 200 injured.The stampede broke out as 300,000 people converged on the Mandher Devi temple to undertake the annual pilgrimage on the full moon day in January and for participation in a 24-hour-long festival that includes ritual animal sacrifices to the goddess. Witnesses said the rush started around midday after some pilgrims slipped on the temple's steep stone steps, which were wet with coconut water spilled from fruit presented as offerings to the goddess Kalubai. A fire then broke out in shops nearby and gas cylinders exploded.

Related News

    Go to top