NEW DELHI, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A stampede broke out Tuesday at a large Hindu religious gathering in India's sacred town of Haridwar, leaving several people dead and injured, officials said.
NDTV reported at least 16 people died and several others were injured in the incident at the Gayatri Mahakumbh in Chandidweep area in Haridwar, north of New Delhi, which is visited by millions of people who come to bathe in the Ganges, considered the most sacred river among Hindus.
The stampede broke out when a large number of followers tried to enter the gate of the Shantikunj Ashram to take part in the celebrations of the founding of a Hindu order, police said.
Hundreds of thousands of people attend the Mahakhumbh or religious gathering held once every 12 years.
"There was a bottleneck," a spokesman for the gathering told Indo-Asian News Service. "Most people died due to suffocation."
Volunteers moved those injured by ambulance to nearby hospitals. Some of them had to be carried in stretchers.
Authorities warned the number of casualties could rise.
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