1999 Sabarimala Stampede
In January of 1999, over 200,000 pilgrims were gathered at the Hindu Sabarimala shrine in Kerala, India. They were all scrambling to witness what they called a “celestial light” that they could see in the distance. Thousands of men were standing on a hill. A landslide occurred from the sheer weight of those people standing on the hill. This caused a panic of people running away from the landslide, rushing down the hill as it fell, and people being buried alive. A total of 52 people perished in the tragedy. This wasn’t the first tragedy to happen to Hindu pilgrims, though. In 1996, more than 200 pilgrims perished when they were caught in a blizzard en route to the sacred Amarnath cave site in the northern state of Kashmir. After the tragedy, the owners of the temple admitted that their “celestial light” was actually man made.