Baghdad Stampede Kills 648
A stampede apparently caused when someone shouted “suicide bomber” on a crowded bridge has killed at least 648 people in Baghdad.
At least 648 people have been killed and 322 others injured in a stampede on a bridge near a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad, police sources said. Most of those killed were women and children, sources said.
According to witnesses, the stampede started after someone screamed that a suicide bomber was in the crowd of pilgrims gathered for a religious commemoration Wednesday. A railing on the bridge then collapsed under the crush of people, and hundreds fell to their deaths in the Tigris River about 30 meters (yards) below, CNN’s Jennifer Eccleston reported. According to police, some people were crushed to death but most drowned. Police expect the death toll to rise as they continue to pull bodies from the river. The dead and wounded inundated five hospitals in the Kadhimiya area.
The stampede took place at about 11:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EDT) near the Kadhimiya mosque, where pilgrims were gathered to commemorate the death of Imam Moussa al-Khadhem, a prominent figure in Shiite history who is buried at the Kadhimiya mosque.
One hopes this wasn’t someone’s idea of a joke.