India stampede leaves at least 14 dead

Indian devotees gather after a stampede at a religious festival in Godavari in the Rajahmundry district some 200km north-east of Hyderabad on July 14, 2015. (AFP/Getty pic)

NEW DELHI: At least 14 people were killed and dozens injured in a stampede at a religious gathering in northern India Sunday, after strong winds caused a large marquee to collapse.

More than a thousand people were at the event in Rajasthan state, where Hindu religious sermons were being given.

“There was a stampede and it appears some iron pipes also fell causing grievous injuries,” senior police officer Khinv Singh told AFP.

He said at least 60 people were injured.

Police have launched an investigation to see if rules were flouted by organisers.

Photos showed wires, pipes and step ladders lying scattered about the venue.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted by his office as saying the incident was “unfortunate” and wishing the injured a quick recovery.

Stampedes are common at India’s religious gatherings with police and volunteer stewards often overwhelmed by large crowds.