September 10, 2009 / 8:27 AM / 9 years ago

Stampede kills five schoolgirls in New Delhi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Five girls died when dozens of pupils stampeded on a narrow school staircase in New Delhi on Thursday after rumours of an electrical short circuit sparked panic.

Relatives console Shamsiran Begum (C), mother of Afroz, a school girl, outside a hospital ward in New Delhi September 10, 2009. Five girls including Afroz died when dozens of pupils stampeded on a narrow school staircase in New Delhi on Thursday after rumours of an electrical short circuit sparked panic. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Police said 30 pupils were injured during the panic among the schoolgirls who feared electrocution as heavy rains fell on the school, police officer Dharmendra Kumar said.

“Five have died and the injured students have been taken to a hospital,” Kumar told reporters.

Television pictures showed angry parents protesting outside the school gate, while armed police stood guard.

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