Worshippers at a Hindu temple in southern India stampeded Thursday as they tried to draw close to a goddess's statue, trampling at least five people to death and injuring 15 others, a state official said.


Relatives of the victims mourn after the stampede at a Hindu temple in the Indian city of Vijayawada on Thursday. ((Associated Press))

Nearly 100,000 devotees had gathered at the temple honouring the goddess of valour, Durga, in Vijayawada, 270 kilometres east of the Andhra Pradesh state capital of Hyderabad, said state Endowments Minister Ratnakar Rao.

The stampede was touched off as the worshippers pressed forward to put garlands on the statue, the minister told the Associated Press.

Five of the injured have been hospitalized in serious condition, Rao said. Temple rituals continued after the stampede, he added.