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At least 87 people killed in stampede at religious event in India, say local police

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New Delhi CNN — A stampede at a religious gathering in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday has killed at least 87 people, according to local police.

The incident happened at a prayer meeting, known as a satsang, in the Mughal Garhi village in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, officials said. The village is around 200 kilometers (124 miles) southeast of the capital, New Delhi.

Police in the Hathras district said at least 60 people have been confirmed dead.

Another 27 people were confirmed dead in the neighboring Etah district after being brought to Etah hospital, according to police and health officials.

“The numbers may rise. People are being taken to hospitals in Hathras district and neighboring district of Etah,” Manish Chikara, Hathras district police spokesperson, told CNN.

Video distributed by Reuters showed crowds gathering outside a local hospital in Etah alongside distraught relatives. Medical personnel could be seen carrying people on stretchers.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences in an address in the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament known as the Lok Sabha.

Modi said the government is engaged in “relief and rescue work” and is coordinating with the state government. “The victims will be helped in every way,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Ashish Kumar, the district magistrate of Hathras, said the stampede happened as people were leaving the event, which was held to celebrate the Hindu deity Shiva.

The district magistrate said police had given permission for the private event and officials were “put on duty for maintenance of law and order and security,” but arrangements inside were handled by the organizers.

An investigation into the incident will be conducted by a newly formed high-level committee, he added.

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