At least 87 people were killed in a stampede at a religious gathering in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, local authorities confirmed.

The stampede happened in a village in Hathras district, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of the capital New Delhi.

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

“I can’t give the exact toll at the moment, but it is approximately 60 … There is a possibility that the toll may go up,” he said.

Unverified videos on social media showed bodies piled up on the ground outside a local hospital. Reuters could not immediately verify the videos.

State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered an investigation into the incident.

“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 wrote on X.

Crowds had gathered to celebrate the Hindu deity Shiva in Hathras.

Umesh Kumar Tripathi, chief medical officer, said: “Many injured have also been admitted. The primary reason is a stampede during a religious event.”

Deadly accidents are common at places of worship in India during major religious festivals.

At least 112 people were killed in 2016 after a huge explosion caused by a banned fireworks display at a temple marking the Hindu new year.

The blast ripped through concrete buildings and ignited a fire at a temple complex in Kerala state, where thousands had gathered.

Another 115 devotees died in 2013 after a stampede at a bridge near a temple in Madhya Pradesh.

Up to 400,000 people were gathered in the area, and the stampede occurred after a rumor spread that the bridge was about to collapse.

About 224 pilgrims died and more than 400 others were injured in a 2008 stampede at a hilltop temple in the northern city of Jodhpur.

The Daily Sabah Newsletter

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