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FOUR women and a 12-year-old girl died and at least 10 people were injured in a stampede at the Indian capital's main railway station today as hordes of people tried to board a train, officials said.
Survivors said hundreds were caught up in the stampede as people rushed to board the train which was about to leave for Patna, capital of Bihar state.
"The railway hospital has given us reports of five deaths" and at least 10 injured were admitted, said DPS Sandhu, spokesman for state-run Northern Railways.
The dead victims, most of them elderly, "were pushed from behind" as they were trying to negotiate a flight of stairs, said Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, who visited the injured in hospital.
He told reporters his ministry would pay 100,000 rupees ($2880) to the next-of-kin of those killed and ordered an inquiry into the stampede.
The stampede was triggered when an elderly woman "slipped and fell while going down the staircase to where the train was scheduled to leave", New Delhi station security chief Sanjay Kishore said.
"This led to the stampede in which five people, including the old woman and a 12-year-old girl, died," the United News of India quoted him as saying.
India has one of the world's largest railway networks, which carries millions of passengers daily. Trains are congested at this time of year, a key period in the Hindu festival calendar when many travel home.
"People helped rescue other passengers, stopping them from being trampled in the stampede," said one survivor.
One passenger, Ved Pal, said there were no railway police on hand to regulate the flow of passengers.
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