Indian Hindu devotees cross a bamboo bridge as they gather to pay homage to the setting sun during Chhat Puja on the banks of the Ganges River in Patna. -AFP Photo

PATNA: At least 18 people were killed and more than a dozen injured in a stampede on Monday during a Hindu festival in the eastern Indian city of Patna, a senior police officer said.

“Bodies of the 18 people killed in the stampede have been sent to the hospital for autopsies,” Jayant Kant, a police superintendent in Patna told AFP.

Kant said the stampede occurred when a makeshift bridge on the Ganges river gave way under the weight of Hindu devotees rushing to offer prayers to the setting sun as part of an annual Hindu religious ritual.

“Ten women and eight children are among those killed,” the police officer said, adding the toll was likely to go up as several other Hindu devotees were reported missing at the site of stampede.

Updated Nov 19, 2012 03:42pm

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