PATNA, India — At least 14 people were killed, including at least six children, in a stampede Monday night during a religious festival in the eastern state of Bihar, police said.
The stampede occurred as hundreds of Hindu worshippers gathered along the bank of the Ganges River in Patna to offer prayers to the sun god during the Chhath festival, according to police Superintendent Jayant Kant.
A power outage sparked panic as crowds filled a makeshift bamboo walkway leading from the riverbank into the Ganges, he said, and people trampled one another as they fought to get to shore. About 20 people were rushed to the hospital, and about six were in critical condition, he said.
Deadly stampedes are fairly common during India’s often-chaotic religious festivals, which regularly include tens of thousands of worshippers. Nine people were killed in a September stampede during another festival in eastern India.