At least 16 people were crushed to death and scores of others injured in a stampede at a religious ceremony close to the river Ganges in northern India.

Officials said 14 women and two men were killed, and 46 others seriously injured.

D Santhel Pandiyan, district magistrate in the nearby town of Haridwar, said: "More worshippers turned up than the place could accommodate and so the stampede occurred."

Hemant Sahu, media contact for the event organisers, said that tens of thousands of Hindu devotees crowded towards a fire at the ashram to make offerings.

"When the big ritual was going on, too many people rushed forward to make their offerings to the holy fire and the crowd got out of control," he said.

"A couple of people fell down and that is what happened. We think the death toll may still go up."


16 killed in Indian stampede - Telegraph