BEIJING (AFP) – Fourteen people, some of them children, were killed and 10 injured in a stampede that broke out as food was being distributed at a mosque in China’s Ningxia region, state media reported Monday.
The stampede occurred at lunchtime on Sunday while traditional food items were being handed out to people attending an event to commemorate a late religious leader, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the local government.
The injured were hospitalised, with four in critical condition, the brief report said.
One photo posted online by Chinese news outlets showed six bodies laid out side-by-side inside a building, with several children in colourful outfits among the dead.
“Those poor children,” wrote one poster.
Ningxia is one of China’s poorer regions, and other Internet users lamented its poverty.
“Are Chinese people so poor, for all this to happen over a piece of pastry?” asked one poster on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Another added: “The Chinese people’s living conditions are so poor that they will do this for a few free cakes! Murder caused by a pie!”
Some Internet users displayed images of red candles online to commemorate those who died.
Others wondered what might have triggered such a large stampede. “It must be thoroughly investigated,” said one.