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DHAKA, Bangladesh —At least 23 people were killed in a human stampede Friday after a large crowd gathered to accept clothes that were being donated during the month of Ramadan, police said.

More than 2,000 people, most of them residents of nearby slums, had assembled outside the home of a factory owner, Mohammad Shamim, for the clothing giveaway, said Moinul Haque, the police chief of the district of Mymensingh.

There was “huge pressure” from the back of the crowd as people in front tried to open the gate, Haque said.

Shamim, his son, and six members of the factory’s staff were arrested, said Mohammad Kamrul Islam, a police official.

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The men are suspected of causing the deaths through negligence, by failing to organize the event properly, Haque said.

He said factory staff members had distributed 600 tokens to slum residents and invited them to Shamim’s home to redeem them for clothing, but that a much larger crowd had shown up around 5 a.m., after the predawn meal that is customary during Ramadan.

New York Times