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Thread: Karachi stampede kills up to 20 women, children

  1. #1

    Karachi stampede kills up to 20 women, children



    KARACHI: A stampede killed up to 20 impoverished women and children, crushed in a stairwell and alley, when charity workers handed out free flour in Karachi, officials said.

    Dozens of women and girls from poor families converged on the first-floor office of a small charity in the crowded neighbourhood of Khori Garden in the hot afternoon of Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

    The tragedy came four days after a stampede killed five girls at a state school in New Delhi, the capital of Pakistan's rival India.

    'We have so far received 20 bodies of women and girls while the injured are more than 30,' Amin Khan, an official at Civil Hospital Karachi, told AFP.

    City police chief Wasim Ahmed said at least 18 women and children died in the stampede with dozens of others injured.

    'The deaths were caused by suffocation and the stampede in one of the most congested localities of Khori Garden, where a charity was distributing free flour among hundreds of women and children during Ramadan,' he added.

    Women clad in black burkas sobbed and wailed as ambulances screeched through the streets, ferrying the bodies and injured to hospital, where panicked relatives searched for their loved ones and dead bodies lay covered in sheets.

    'I have lost my little daughter,' cried Karima in hospital. 'I wanted a bag of flour for my family and my greed punished me so gravely,' she sobbed.

    A private security guard responsible for making sure the women formed an orderly queue baton charged the women when they became impatient with the long wait, said police and witnesses.

    'The women got scared and tried to save themselves... which caused the stampede,' said local police official Hashmat Ali.

    Injured Salma Qadir said the women wanted to get their rations quickly but were beaten by a guard.

    'The women scared and tried to turn back, which scared others and resulted in a stampede,' she told AFP.

    Several dozen women's shoes, sandals and slippers were left lying on the road outside the distribution place in Khori Garden, a warren of narrow lanes and side streets ill equipped for large crowds, an AFP reporter said.

    'Fortunately, my mother and sister have survived and I am searching for their shoes and scarves here,' said teenager Mohammad Kashif.

    Shops in the area closed as a sign of mourning after the tragedy as women and children wailed outside the crowded emergency ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi where bodies and the injured were transported.

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered an immediate investigation into the incident and medical treatment for the injured in Karachi, a teeming city that is home to an estimated 14 million people.


    Mubasshar


  2. #2

    Re: Karachi stampede kills up to 20 women, children

    this is a share irresponsibility by that charity organization they should make proper arrangements. they should involve local bodies and police to avoid this incident. on the other hand our people should show more civilized behavior and not to rush always to the first position. i think civil society should educate them and make them understand about the benefits of queue system.

  3. #3
    Taha Guest

    Re: Karachi stampede kills up to 20 women, children

    انا لله و انا اليه راجعون

  4. #4

    Re: Karachi stampede kills up to 20 women, children

    Eyewitnesses recount scene at Karachi stampede

    I would have never come here to get flour if the inflation rate was not as high. The price hike this year has made it difficult for us to feed our large families and the government does not seem to care. Every day I stand in long queues to purchase atta (flour) at Rs10 per kg, but return home empty-handed. Today, when I heard that free flour was being distributed by someone, I immediately rushed to try my luck here as well,’ said Amina, a maid at a government school in Lyari.



    ‘As soon as I reached out to get a bag of flour, two women jumped on my back and I fell down. The crowd stepped on me and I couldn’t breathe for a while and then fell unconscious. My neighbour brought me to the hospital.’



    There were others who witnessed the deaths during the stampede, especially when the police resorted to baton-charging to control the crowd.



    ‘When the police arrived on the scene, they began controlling the situation by hitting women with sticks. That is when the crowd got even more out of control,’ 18-year-old Noorun Nissa, an eyewitness told Dawn.com.



    ‘My hand and leg got stuck and I could feel someone stepping on my foot. It felt very heavy. When I managed to move some women out of my way, I saw dead bodies of children lying in my feet. I don’t know where their mothers were,’ she recalled.



    Noor is one of the six sisters in her household and her father, a tailor, is the sole breadwinner of the house. ‘Women in our Baloch community are not permitted to work so there is nothing we can do to support our family financially. It is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet that is why I thought this was an opportunity. After hearing about the deaths of over 18 women, I am at least glad I survived and only sprained my ankle.’



    Amina added that although this is her yearly routine, the turnout of women in bachat bazaars is much more this Ramazan. ‘I don’t just have my family to feed but that of my sisters as well who are widows and live with me. I visit these bachat bazaars every year to buy essentials at subsidised rates and end up making a lot of friends as I stand in a queue. This year I noticed that women were not only from poverty-stricken areas like Lyari and Machhar Colony but other low and middle-income localities of the city as well.’

    An old woman Mariam was lying in a state of semi-consciousness with a drip pierced into her arm. ‘I don’t know how it all started. I was inside the room located on the first floor of the building, while my sister was waiting outside for me when all of a sudden women started pushing and screaming.



    'The force of the pressure was so much that I broke my ribs. It’s a miracle that I survived somehow, though I saw other women inside being crushed to death before my eyes. Only a while back, things were normal and I was waiting after receiving my token for the free rations that were being distributed. But, sadly I got no rations despite having waited since morning. And now I’m here in a hospital bed.’

  5. #5

    Re: Karachi stampede kills up to 20 women, children

    Quote Originally Posted by ali
    Eyewitnesses recount scene at Karachi stampede

    I would have never come here to get flour if the inflation rate was not as high. The price hike this year has made it difficult for us to feed our large families and the government does not seem to care. Every day I stand in long queues to purchase atta (flour) at Rs10 per kg, but return home empty-handed. Today, when I heard that free flour was being distributed by someone, I immediately rushed to try my luck here as well,’ said Amina, a maid at a government school in Lyari.



    ‘As soon as I reached out to get a bag of flour, two women jumped on my back and I fell down. The crowd stepped on me and I couldn’t breathe for a while and then fell unconscious. My neighbour brought me to the hospital.’



    There were others who witnessed the deaths during the stampede, especially when the police resorted to baton-charging to control the crowd.



    ‘When the police arrived on the scene, they began controlling the situation by hitting women with sticks. That is when the crowd got even more out of control,’ 18-year-old Noorun Nissa, an eyewitness told Dawn.com.



    ‘My hand and leg got stuck and I could feel someone stepping on my foot. It felt very heavy. When I managed to move some women out of my way, I saw dead bodies of children lying in my feet. I don’t know where their mothers were,’ she recalled.



    Noor is one of the six sisters in her household and her father, a tailor, is the sole breadwinner of the house. ‘Women in our Baloch community are not permitted to work so there is nothing we can do to support our family financially. It is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet that is why I thought this was an opportunity. After hearing about the deaths of over 18 women, I am at least glad I survived and only sprained my ankle.’



    Amina added that although this is her yearly routine, the turnout of women in bachat bazaars is much more this Ramazan. ‘I don’t just have my family to feed but that of my sisters as well who are widows and live with me. I visit these bachat bazaars every year to buy essentials at subsidised rates and end up making a lot of friends as I stand in a queue. This year I noticed that women were not only from poverty-stricken areas like Lyari and Machhar Colony but other low and middle-income localities of the city as well.’

    An old woman Mariam was lying in a state of semi-consciousness with a drip pierced into her arm. ‘I don’t know how it all started. I was inside the room located on the first floor of the building, while my sister was waiting outside for me when all of a sudden women started pushing and screaming.



    'The force of the pressure was so much that I broke my ribs. It’s a miracle that I survived somehow, though I saw other women inside being crushed to death before my eyes. Only a while back, things were normal and I was waiting after receiving my token for the free rations that were being distributed. But, sadly I got no rations despite having waited since morning. And now I’m here in a hospital bed.’
    Its Horrible Allha tala Apna raham farmaya.
    Mubasshar


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