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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

India: Dozens killed in second stampede at Chennai flood rel

[b]India: Dozens killed in second stampede at Chennai flood relief centre[/b]

In the early hours of Sunday morning, 42 people were killed, including 23 women, and 37 injured in a stampede at an emergency flood-relief distribution centre in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The tragedy took place as flood victims queued to receive food aid at the Arignar Anna Model Higher Secondary Corporation School in MGR Nagar, in Central Chennai. The stampede was the second at an aid centre in Tamil Nadu since floods devastated areas of the state in October. On November 6, six women were trampled to death and 20 others injured in Vyasarpadi, north Madras.

On Sunday morning, people who lost everything in the floods rushed to the relief centre at MGR Nagar to receive a cash grant of 1,000 rupees ($US23), as well as 10 kilograms of rice, some kerosene, a dhoti and a saree. Even though the distribution of relief was not scheduled to begin until 7:30 a.m., eyewitnesses reported that a crowd of 5,000 or more had massed at the school gates by 3 a.m. due to fears they would miss out on urgently needed supplies.

At 3:45 a.m., a heavy downpour started. Seeking shelter, people pushed through the gates and ran toward the school buildings. Scores tripped over a vehicle speed trap on the road and were trampled by those behind them. Hundreds of sandals, umbrellas, ration cards and raincoats were left strewn on the ground.

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