At least eight worshippers, including three young girls, have been killed after the wall of a cave leading to a popular Hindu temple in central India collapsed, police have said.

Live Box 2013927135832671882

State Home Minister Ram Sewak Pekra said the accident at Bildwar Cave in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday may have been triggered by blasts in nearby coal mines.

"Frequent blasts are carried out in the nearby coal mines and that could be the reason for the cave-in. We have asked the rescue team to do a thorough combing of the site to ensure no one else is trapped," Pekra told AFP news agency.

Senior police officer Manisha Thakur told AFP that eight bodies had been recovered - three were girls aged between 10 and 13, and five men.

"Three others are injured. They are in a serious condition," Thakur said.

India has a long history of accidents at religious festivals and sites. Last month, 18 people were killed at a stampede during a funeral procession for a Muslim spiritual leader in Mumbai.

Source: Agencies