Breaking News Emails
At least 11 people were reported killed and dozens more were injured Monday morning when Hindus observing the holy month of Sawan Somvar tried to jump the line, setting off a stampede at a temple in Belabagan, India, authorities and Indian news agencies reported.
Amit Kumar, deputy police commissioner of the Deogarh district in the eastern state of Jharkhand, told Press Trust of India that 10 men and a woman died "as the devotees tried to overtake each other" at Baidyanath temple in Belabagan, which honors the Mother Goddess Durga.
The Asia News International news agency, reporting from the scene, said as many as 50 people were rushed to local hospitals after the crush.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "pained at [the] loss of lives due to the stampede in Jharkhand" and said his thoughts were "with the families of the deceased in this hour of grief."
The national broadcaster Focus News, which reported that the incident occurred about 5:45 a.m. (8:45 p.m. Sunday ET), broadcast video of the rescue effort after the stampede.
Hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages to the temple every August to offer holy water to Lord Shiva at the temple. Mondays are usually the busiest days.
The national news service IBNLive quoted local officials as saying at least 80,000 people had gathered in line stretching more than 9 miles at the temple.
"All preparations were made for a large number of devotees," DB Sharma, deputy inspector general of the local police, told IBNLive. "This was an unfortunate accident."