At least 116 people have reportedly died in a stampede at a religious gathering in the state of Uttar Pradesh, central India, on Tuesday. Local police stated that authorities are still working to confirm the number of casualties taken to various hospitals in the region.

The stampede took place during a "satsang," a prayer meeting led by a Hindu guru, in the village of Rati Bhanpur in the Hathras area of the state. Thousands of the guru's followers gathered to hear his speech, seeking shelter under tents to escape the intense sun. Suddenly, panic ensued and people began running.

It was not immediately clear what caused the panic. However, some eyewitnesses told local media outlets that the stampede started when the event ended and people rushed to leave the venue.

Prashant Kumar, the director-general of police in northern India's state of Uttar Pradesh, where the stampede occurred, said that at least 116 people died, most of them women and children. Senior police officer Shalabh Mathur added that more than 80 others were injured and admitted to hospitals.

Initial reports indicated that over 15,000 people had gathered for the event, although the permission was for about 5,000.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of the deceased and stated that the federal government was collaborating with state authorities to ensure that the injured receive assistance.