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Fallen wall blamed for temple stampede

JODHPUR, India, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A collapsed wall caused a stampede that killed at least 168 people and injured more than 150 at a Hindu temple in India, police said Tuesday.

The wall fell as about 25,000 worshipers moved through a narrow passage to reach the 15th century Chamunda Devi temple in India's western state of Rajasthan for the nine-day Nava Ratri festival, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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"People were falling over one another. Many ran but were trampled and remain buried. We are pulling them out," said a local official, Kiran Soni Gupta.

Police said most of the 168 killed were trampled as people tried to flee the narrow and confined space, the British newspaper said.

Officials in Jodhpur indicated that most of the dead were men because the stampede was in the male section of two parallel paths authorities constructed leading up a slope to the hilltop temple.

A similar stampede in August killed more than 130 people at another Hindu temple on a hilltop in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. That incident was blamed on rumors of a landslide.

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