At least 20 people died while crossing a bridge on their way to a Hindu pilgrimage near Varanasi, India - photo AP
At least 24 were killed and 30 others have been injured in a stampede that erupted on a bridge near Varanasi, India on Saturday. People were crossing the bridge in order to attend a Hindu religious ceremony in the area.
Among those that died, 19 were women.
Officials of the event said they were only expecting 3000 people to attend, but approximately 70,000 came to the event. As it became overcrowded, police began directing people away from the bridge. This sparked a rumor that the bridge was broken, causing thousands of people to run away for safety.
“We were not prepared for such a large crowd,” Raj Bahadur, a spokesman for the event, told The Associated Press.
Deadly stampedes occur frequently in India, where many people visit small areas at one time in order to attend religious festivals.
stampede - a sudden rush (running away) of a very large group of people / animals that are scared of something
to erupt - to suddenly "explode" / to suddenly happen
ceremony - a very special and very organized event
to spark - to suddenly cause something to happen
rumour - information that is quickly passed to people, but may not be true
spokesman - a man who talks for a group of people
Migrant workers look for a final payment settlement after being laid off by the Binladin Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - photo by Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters
Thousands of Indian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have lost their jobs and are now receiving food aid from the Indian government India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj says.
Most of the migrants were employed by Saudi construction companies who have been experiencing financial difficulties due to low global prices.
News reports in India say many of the workers have not been paid any wages for many months.
A junior government minister from India has been sent to Saudi Arabia to help bring back to India those workers who cannot afford airfare.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Indians seek employment outside of India in search of a better quality of life and better wages as laborers, electricians, drivers, etc.
migrant workers - people who travel from one country to work in another country
food aid - free food and other financial help because someone is in need
employed - to be given a job by someone
construction company - a company that builds buildings, houses, etc.
financial difficulties - problems with money
airfare - the fee / price for a plane ticket
better quality of life - a healthier lifestyle that a country (government system) allows its citizens / people to have
wages - payment that someone receives (per hour of work)
laborers - people who do simple physical work as their job
electricians - people who work with wiring electricity in buildings, houses, etc.