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Stampede at Hindu religious festival in eastern India kills 2 women

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NEW DELHI — A stampede at a religious festival attended by tens of thousands of people in eastern India left two women dead Saturday, police said, the second deadly stampede at an Indian Hindu festival in less than a week.

At least 10 other people were injured in the melee at the Rath Yatra, or Chariot Festival, in the temple town of Puri in Orissa state, Press Trust of India news agency reported, citing local police.

Police said the crowd swelled and surged toward a chariot being carried in a procession, according to PTI.

PHOTO: Indian policemen stand at the site near a woman who fainted during a stampede at the annual Rath Yatra or Lord Jagannath chariot procession in Puri, 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India, Saturday, July 18, 2015. Police say the crowd swelled and surged toward a chariot being carried in a procession that caused the stampede, according to PTI. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
Indian policemen stand at the site near a woman who fainted during a stampede at the annual Rath Yatra or Lord Jagannath chariot procession in Puri, 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India, Saturday, July 18, 2015. Police say the crowd swelled and surged toward a chariot being carried in a procession that caused the stampede, according to PTI. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

Two of the injured were in critical condition in a hospital, it said.

Deadly stampedes are fairly common during Indian religious festivals, where large crowds gather in small areas with few safety or crowd control measures.

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of pilgrims taking part in a Hindu religious bathing festival surged forward and triggered a massive stampede on a riverbank in southern India's Andhra Pradesh state, leaving at least 27 dead and dozens injured.

In October 2013, a stampede in Madhya Pradesh state in central India killed more than 110 people, mostly women and children.

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