In Mumbai, India: A stampede on a pedestrian bridge linking two railway stations led to almost two dozen deaths and a lot more injuries.
How it happened: A lot of people were taking shelter under the roof of the bridge to escape the sudden, heavy downpour. And then 4 trains came in at the same time, adding to the already massive crowd, and since it was morning rushhour, people were scrambling up and down the stairs to get on or off the bridge. (Also it doesn’t help that so many hawkers are peddling their wares on the bridge.) The rain made the stairs slippery. So when a few commuters slipped, people fell on top of them. And when falling concrete hit the bridge railing, everyone thought the bridge was going to collapse so they made a run for it. Many people died due to suffocation, there was literally no space to breathe.
Many say this was a tragedy waiting to happen because there is only one bridge when there should be a lot more. In fact there are many tweets going back 4-5 years, where people warned that a disaster was bound to happen on this bridge. Many are also furious that instead of allocating funds to improve shoddy railway infracture, the government of India is shelling out $530 million to build a statue of a famous Indian historical figure – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, an honorable warrior king who fought bravely to overthrow the Mughal Empire in India.
The bronze statue will be brandishing a sword while charging on a horse. That’s pretty awesome to visualize until you stop to consider the fact that there are millions of hungry people in India. The government is likely thrilled that their statue will be twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty and almost 40 meters taller than the world’s current tallest memorial – a statue of Buddha in China. Sounds like a dick-measuring contest to me. I’m sure Shivaji himself would’ve rather used the money to improve Mumbai’s railways in order to prevent needless deaths. Don’t be surprised when he turns over in his grave after his statue is built.