MANILA: Two people died and hundreds were injured during a huge religious festival in the Philippines, authorities said Sunday.
More than a million people turned out for the festival of the Black Nazarene on Saturday, one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, to see the life-sized statue wheeled through the streets of Manila.
Police said at its height, about 1.5 million people took part in the seven-kilometre (4.5-mile) parade, which runs to the icon’s home inside the downtown Quiapo church.
Many believe the Black Nazarene has miraculous powers and sick people will often resort to desperate measures to try to touch it.
Philippine Red Cross secretary-general Gwendolyn Pang said her agency, which had a field hospital at the site, treated almost 1,600 people who were injured during the festivities.
Some 55 of them were “major cases”, such as fractures caused by the huge crush of people or strokes caused by stress, more than double the number last year.