14 killed in stampede at Indian state's largest Hindu festival

The collapse of a makeshift bridge forced a stampede of Hindu festival-goers, killing 14 and injuring many others. Police in Patna said casualty figures may rise.

PATNA, India — At least 14 people were killed Monday and many more injured in a stampede during a Hindu festival in the Indian city of Patna, police said.

Among the casualties were many children and women, who had come to the banks of the River Ganges in the eastern Indian state of Bihar to enjoy Chhath, the biggest Hindu festival in the state.

Several people were still missing, the police said.

"We have identified 14 bodies so far and we fear the casualty figures may go up," a senior police official told journalists.

He said the stampede had been triggered by the collapse of a makeshift bamboo bridge built along the banks of the river and appealed to the public to keep calm.

Devotees had gathered along the river to offer prayers to the setting Sun.

The injured, several of whom were said to be in critical condition, were taken to hospital in Patna.

(Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh)