Tragedy Bangladesh stampede kills several at free clothing drive

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Hundreds of people rushed through a small gate into a factory compound before dawn to get the free garments, causing a crush.

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At least 23 people have been killed and 50 injured in a stampede during a clothes giveaway in Mymensingh city in northern Bangladesh, police have said.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, wealthy Bangladeshis often donate clothing to the poor.

Reports suggests that hundreds of people rushed through a small gate into a factory compound before dawn to get the free garments, causing a crush.

Seven people, including the owner of the factory have been detained by the police.

1,500 people had gathered outside the chewing tobacco factory at about 04:45 local time (22:45 GMT Thursday) after the owners announced they would distribute free clothing, police told AFP news agency.

The stampede erupted when people tried to force their way in.

Television pictures showed scenes of devastation, with hundreds of blood-spattered sandals lying at the factory gate, which was named by local media as Nurani Jorda.

"Most of the dead are poor and emaciated women," Mymensingh police chief Moinul Haque told AFP.

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