KARACHI, Pakistan – Twenty women waiting to get free flour in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi died when the crowd around them swelled and a stampede began, a hospital official said.
Mohammad Amin Khan of Karachi Civil Hospital said the death toll from Monday's incident could rise.
Footage from local television stations showed panicked relatives arriving at the hospital, while others brought limp bodies in the backs of trucks. Some women cried while laying on stretchers.
The flour giveaway was organized by a private group in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Karachi police chief Waseem Ahmad says at least 18 died in the stampede and that the man distributing the free flour was detained because he had not given police prior notice.