KOLKATA, India, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A stampede at a festival observing India's winter solstice left seven pilgrims dead and more than 20 others injured, authorities said.
The incident occurred about 5:30 a.m. Thursday at Sagar Island, also known as Gangasagar, when hundreds of people tried to board a boat to participate in a holy dip in the water that is part of the annual Makar Sankranti event, the Indian Express news service reported. The ferry was running two hours late.
"The rush to get accommodated on the first ferry resulted in the stampede," said police official Surajit Kar Purakayasta.
Khalil Ahmed, a district magistrate, said the pilgrims broke through a barricade "and the crowd could not be controlled."
An investigation was started to determine whether police crowd control preparations had been adequate.
Kolkata was formerly known as Calcutta.