More than three-dozen pilgrims and priests were injured when an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinder blew up in a temple in Bateshwar, 70 km from Agra, police said Tuesday.
Three of the injured are in critical condition. They were taken to a primary health centre while others were brought to Agra's SN Medical College and district hospital.
Police said a large crowd had gathered at the temple Monday to offer prayers. The small temple got heated up due to the large number of lamps that had been lit. "The heat impacted the gas cylinder which burst causing a stampede and chaos. A large number of people burnt their clothes," police officials explained.
Though the temple in the small Uttar Pradesh town has not been damaged, a couple of big brass bells fell.
"The first reaction was that there was a bomb blast which caused a lot of tension and uncertainty. Only later it became clear that a cylinder had blown off," Sham Babu, an eyewitness, said.
Bateshwar is a Hindu pilgrimage town with 101 Shiva temples.