At least 27 crushed to death in India religious gathering

Map of India

At least 27 people were crushed to death at a Hindu religious gathering in northern India, with several more injured and fears the toll could rise, government medics said Tuesday.

"We have received 27 bodies so far... bodies are still coming," Uttar Pradesh state senior medical officer Ram Mohan Tiwari told AFP.

Crowds had gathered to celebrate the Hindu deity Shiva in the city of Hathras, some 140 kilometres (87 miles) southeast of New Delhi.

Umesh Kumar Tripathi, chief medical officer, told reporters the dead were 25 women and two men.

"Many injured have also been admitted," Tripathi said. "The primary reason is a stampede during a religious event."

Deadly accidents are common at places of worship in India during major religious festivals.

At least 112 people were killed in 2016 after a huge explosion caused by a banned fireworks display at a temple marking the Hindu new year.

The blast ripped through concrete buildings and ignited a fire at a temple complex in Kerala state, where thousands had gathered.

Another 115 devotees died in 2013 after a stampede at a bridge near a temple in Madhya Pradesh.

Up to 400,000 people were gathered in the area, and the stampede occurred after a rumour spread that the bridge was about to collapse.

About 224 pilgrims died and more than 400 others were injured in a 2008 stampede at a hilltop temple in the northern city of Jodhpur.