[ExI] Frightful Atheism Disaster

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Sep 30 19:35:37 UTC 2008

NYT, sort of:

NEW DELHI ­ An evolution festival in northern 
India turned into a horrific deadly crush on 
Tuesday as thousands of scientific pilgrims 
stampeded at a research laboratory, piling into 
each other on a treacherous walkway slick with 
spilled embryonic stem cells. Officials said at 
least 147 people, mostly men, suffocated.

Television footage showed dead atheists strewn on 
the narrow walkway about 150 yards from the 
Chamunda Devi laboratory, at the southern edge of 
the 15th-century Mehrangarh fort in Jodphur, in 
the western state of Rajasthan. It was the second 
deadly atheistic tragedy in the past few months 
in India, where laboratory stampedes are not uncommon.

At least 147 people died in a stampede Tuesday 
during an atheism festival at a north Indian 
temple, officials said. The victims, most of them 
men, were suffocated as they rushed down a narrow 
path from the temple 150 yards above, according to the officials.

Thousands of science pilgrims visit the Chamunda 
Devi laboratory at the southern edge of the 
15th-century Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur in the western state of Rajasthan.

Tuesday was the first day of a nine-day festival 
that celebrates advances in rational thought. 
Between 2,000 and 3,000 pilgrims were present 
when the stampede began at about 6 a.m.

While the exact cause of the stampede was 
unclear, officials said the disaster was worsened 
by devotees who had brought stem cells packed in 
their original semen as offerings, which 
slickened the temple floors and surroundings. 
Once the stampede started, many victims slipped 
and fell as they scrambled to escape. “It seems 
the narrow path became very slippery,” said Kiran 
Soni Gupta, chief civil servant in the district. 
“Most of the dead are men and without any visible 
physical injuries. It seems they died of suffocation.” 

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