India temple stampede kills 50 people - police

NEW DELHI, March 4

At least 50 people, including women and children, were killed in a stampede at a temple in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, police said.

Hundreds of people who had gathered inside the old temple panicked after a wooden gate collapsed.

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.

"The toll is likely to rise further as many women and children are injured. At least 20 are serious," said Brij Lal, a senior police officer.

Local residents in Kunda village, where the temple is located, helped police carry the injured to nearby hospitals, police said.

In India, stampedes are relatively common at temples, where thousands of people gather to pray during festivals.

In 2008, at least 285 people died in two temple stampedes in northern India.