At least 63 people, including
women and children, have been killed in a stampede after the gate of a Hindu temple collapsed in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said.
The tragedy struck as hundreds of people had gathered for a religious festival at the temple in Pratapgarh district, some 650km southeast of Delhi.
It is still unclear what caused the gate to collapse.
Thursday's disaster happened at a popular Ram Janaki temple in the town of Kunda in Pratapgarh district. The temple is owned by Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj, a Hindu holy man.
Some people were crushed to death under the gate, leading to panic, and as hundreds of people tried to escape through a narrow passage, many tripped and came under the feet of the rushing crowd.
"We have now counted all the bodies and they include 37 children and 26 women who had come to collect free gifts," SP Pathak, a police official, told the AFP news agency.
"The toll is likely to rise further as many women and children are seriously injured"
Devotees had gathered for a ceremonial feast and free distribution of clothes.
"The toll is likely to rise further as many women and children are injured. At least 20 are serious," one police officer told the Reuters news agency.
Stampedes at religious events in India are common as large numbers of excited worshippers pack into congested areas.
Panic can spread quickly and, with few safety regulations in place, the result
is often lethal.
Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri, reporting from Delhi, said: "Official sources have confirmed to us that over 200 people are injured, many of the bodies have been recovered but rescue operations are still under way for those injured.
"It is also being reported that more than 30 people are still trapped beneath the debris," she said.
In 2008, nearly 300 people were killed in stampedes and scores injured in two different Hindu temples in Rajasthanand Himachal Pradesh states.
Pilgrimages and festivals are a part of daily life in India and the vast majority of Indians, across the entire social spectrum, will participate regularly.
In most cases, crowd management measures are rudimentary, or even non-existent, and police action has often been blamed for exacerbating panic when things go wrong.