At least 12 people were killed and 20 others injured in a stampede at the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir triggered by a heavy rush of devotees, officials said on Saturday.
The stampede occurred outside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine atop Trikuta hills.
The stampede was triggered by a heavy rush of devotees who have come to pay their obeisance to mark the beginning of the New Year, the officials said.
Senior officials and shrine board representatives are on the spot.
Initially, officials said six persons were found dead and the bodies sent to hospital for identification and other legal formalities.
At least 26 other persons were admitted to hospitals, including Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, and the condition of many of the injured was stated to be “serious”.
PM announces ex gratia
"An ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to the stampede at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan. The injured would be given Rs 50,000," PMO said in a tweet.