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8 die in Ganges River during Holi festival

March 28, 2013 at 4:25 PM   |   Comments

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KANPUR, India, March 28 (UPI) -- Eight young men bathing in the Ganges River in northern India during the Holi festival drowned in two separate incidents, authorities say.

Five men died Wednesday when they were swept away at a dam in Bithoor in Uttar Pradesh, the Indo-Asian News Service reported. The group ranged in age from 16 to 20 and included two brothers, a police spokesman said.

"The current in the river was strong and the youngsters, apparently under the influence of liquor, were washed away," Nishikant Rai told IANS.

Three other men, age 24 to 26, were swept away in another incident in Bithoor.

Holi is a Hindu spring festival. In Uttar Pradesh, the festival lasts for a week and includes a celebration of the 1857 rebellion that attempted to end British rule of India.

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