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Fear Of Bridge Collapse Triggers Stampede In India

More than 20 people were killed during Friday morning's rush in Mumbai, India. A stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge that connects two railway stations.

The Associated Press reports falling concrete hit the bridge's railing, and that led some in the crowd to believe the bridge was about to collapse.

The Times of India reports that eyewitnesses said a man slipped on the crowded foot bridge and as other passengers tried to help him, others also slipped leading to many more slipping which led to a stampede.

Because it was raining heavily, more people than normal were on the bridge seeking shelter from the storm under the canopy.

Authorities in Mumbai say at least 22 people were killed in the crush and at least 20 were seriously injured.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted condolences to all those who lost loved ones in the stampede.

The BBC's Yogita Limaye in Mumbai says the incident has once again put the spotlight on Mumbai's transport infrastructure, which is often criticized for being old and insufficient, given the millions of people who use it every day.

Senior railway officials are at the scene and an inquiry into the incident has begun.

Deadly stampedes are fairly common during Indian religious festivals. In 2013, more than a hundred people were killed in a stampede in central India.

Thousands of Hindu pilgrims were crossing a bridge leading to a temple in Madhya Pradesh state when they panicked at rumors the bridge would collapse, triggering a stampede.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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