Fish injure 60 people during idol immersions in India

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Sixty people have been stung or bitten by fish during the first day of immersions in the Ganesh festival in India.

The incidents occurred at Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai and after medical examination of the injured people, officials have said that the wounds are stings from rays and catfish bites.

Dr Mahesh Shah, deputy dean at Nair hospital, where 38 of the injured people were treated said: "Stingrays have sharp tail spines and humans are usually stung in the lower limb region, only when they may accidentally step on a stingray."

Immersion involves the placing of statues of Lord Ganesha in a body of water at the end of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival — celebrated by Hindus as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. These idols can vary in size from less than one inch to over 25' and more than 150,000 are reported to be immersed each year in Mumbai alone!

Now officials have appealed to people not to go into the sea, instead directing them to boats and pontoons, from where they can continue with the immersions more safely.

None of the injuries are thought to be serious, but there are concerns that as immersion continues and the number of visitors grows, there could be more casualties.

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