Seven pilgrims were killed and 12 were injured in a stampede on Thursday in West Bengal, news reports said.

The incident occurred when a large number of pilgrims tried to board a boat at Kakdwip, about 80 kilometres south of state capital Kolkata. The vessel was to take the pilgrims to Gangasagar island for the fair held on the holy Hindu day of Makar Sankranti.

Six women and a child were killed and 12 other people injured, four of them seriously.

“They pushed each other, trying to board the vessel ahead of others. That caused the accident,” the report quoted a local police official as saying.

At least 400,000 pilgrims had gathered to take a holy dip at the point where the Ganga river flows into the Bay of Bengal, police said.

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