11 Die in Stampede in Pakistan Ramadan Donation Distribution

Fri Mar 31 2023
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KARACHI: At least 11 people, mostly children, and women, died, and several sustained injuries in a stampede during the distribution of ration and Zakat money near Nurus Chowrangi in the Site area of Pakistan’s Karachi city here on Friday.

This was the latest incident in which people lost their lives to seek free edibles during the holy month of Ramadan.

According to police and rescue sources, many people had gathered for ration distribution. Many people became unconscious and were shifted to hospitals in critical condition.

According to reports, two children died after falling into the nearby sewerage drain, whose wall also collapsed.

The incident took place while people were gathered at a dyeing factory in the city’scity’s industrial area to collect ration — which is part of charity drives that Karachiites hold every Ramadan to help the needy.

According to rescue sources and police officials, eight women and three children were killed.

Six people also fainted during the stampede. Meanwhile, police officials stated that a huge number of people were gathered at the site when the ration was being distributed.

As per rescue sources, many people who died fell into a nullah at the factory. Also, eyewitnesses told the media outlet that people were called for Zakat distribution.

Emergency imposed in Karachi hospitals

Edhi sources said that nine bodies were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, while two were taken to the Civil Hospital.

According to the Edhi sources, all deceased brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital were women, among which three were younger girls, Faisal Edhi said. The police said that 15 injured were shifted to both hospitals.

Taking notice of the incident, Governor Sindh Kamran Tessori has sought a report from the Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon. The governor also expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Muhammad Mughees Hashmi told the media that the area police confirmed that the incident occurred because of a stampede. He said that the local police station was not informed prior to the distribution.

The SP said that seven people had been arrested so far, and an investigation has been initiated.

Fearing that the death toll may increase, he revealed that during the stampede water line also burst, which fueled the situation.

The development comes after at least five people were killed in recent weeks, and many have been injured in stampedes across Pakistan at sites where the distribution of edibles, particularly wheat flour, under the government-backed scheme had been underway to provide support to struggling families amid the country’scountry’s deteriorating economic crunch.

Thousands of people gathered at the centers across the country as part of the government’s efforts to ease the impact of inflation, which ran above 30%, a 50-year high.

Costs of basic goods have surged even more, with flour prices rising over 45% in the past year.

The Pakistani government has launched a flour distribution program to reach millions of families in need during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began last week.

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