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    'Asphyxiation cause of deaths in temple stampede'

    Naina Devi (HP) (PTI): Post-mortem conducted on victims of the Naina Devi temple stampede on Sunday confirmed that the deaths were caused by asphyxiation, official sources said on Wednesday.

    Post-mortem reports of 101 bodies out of a total of 141 victims taken to the civil hospital at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, 18 km from here, have pointed to compression of chest due to asphyxiation as the cause of the deaths, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) P C Akela said.

    Akela, who remained stationed at Anandpur Sahib after the tragic incident, said post-mortem of 40 bodies were not carried out at the request of their relatives.

    The SDM said the 40 bodies were handed over to their relatives after the district administration entertained their requests not to conduct autopsies.

    Deputy Superintendent of Police Yogesh Guleria who had also rushed to the Anandpur Sahib said the post-mortem reports were handed over to the relatives.

    A total of 146 pilgrims had lost their lives during the stampede caused by rumours of a landslide and rolling down of stones from nearby Naina Dhar mountain.

    The victims were mostly from Punjab who had thronged the 8th century temple on the occasion of Shravan Navratra which started on August 2 and will continue till August 11.

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