2005 Baghdad Bridge Stampede
On August 31, 2005, around one million pilgrims were marching toward the Al Kadhimiya Mosque, located in Baghdad. To reach the shrine, the crowd had to cross the Al-Aaimmah bridge over the Tigris river. The mass of people was already tense thanks to a mortar attack earlier that day, so all it took to touch off a panic was a man pointing a finger at another, claiming he was wearing explosives. A massive crush resulted, with thousands rushing toward the closed bridge. A gate at the front was opened, but not one at the back, meaning the crowd had nowhere to go. People were trampled, crushed against the sides of the bridge, or fell into the river. At least 953 people were crushed to death or drowned.