At least 27 pilgrims have died in a stampede on the banks of a holy river in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, local officials say.
The Hindu pilgrims had gathered to take a dip in the Godavari river at the start of the Maha Pushkaralu festival.
The stampede occurred at 08:00am (02:30 GMT) in the Rajahmundry district.
Nearly 24 million pilgrims are expected to take part in the 12-day festival. Pilgrims believe that taking a bath in the river will rid them of their sins.
“The incident happened as the first set of worshippers were coming out of the river after taking a dip and then got in the way of others who wanted to be in the water at an auspicious time,” AFP news agency quoted senior police official A Srinivasan Rao as saying.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who bathed in the river at the festival on Tuesday morning, said in a series of tweets that he was monitoring the situation and urged people not to panic: