Stampede at Indian religious event kills 87: reports


Police say at least 60 people have died in a crush in northern India.
Police say at least 60 people have died in a crush in northern India.

At least 87 people are feared dead in a stampede at a Hindu religious gathering in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, broadcaster NDTV reports.

The stampede happened in a village in Hathras district, about 200km southeast of the capital New Delhi, where authorities said a crowd of thousands of people had gathered on an area of open ground in response to a call from a local religious leader.

District police spokesperson Manish Chikara put the death toll at about 60 people but said that figure may rise.

Videos on social media showed bodies piled up on the ground outside a local hospital. 

Reuters could not immediately verify the images.

Women mourn next to the body of a relative
Officials say a stampede among thousands of people at a religious gathering has killed dozens. (AP PHOTO)

“The incident happened due to overcrowding at the time when people were trying to leave the venue,” Hathras district administrator Ashish Kumar told reporters.

An unidentified witness told broadcaster India Today that there was a narrow exit at the venue: “As we tried to exit towards a field, suddenly a commotion started and we didn’t know what to do.”

Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state with more than 200 million people.

Its Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered an investigation.

“Instructions have been given to the concerned officials to conduct relief and rescue operations on war footing and to provide proper treatment to the injured,” he posted on X.