A local Indian official resigned Monday after a chaotic crush at a railroad station a day earlier left 36 people dead among tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims flocking to the banks of the Ganges River for the world's largest religious gathering.
The stampede occurred on Sunday evening as floods of pilgrims entering the station in Allahabad, the scene of this year's Kumbh Mela festival, broke through temporary barriers and crowded onto already busy platforms, railway authorities said.
In addition to the 36 killed in the ensuing crush, more than 30 people were injured, according to North-Central Railway, which operates the station.
Local television footage showed bodies, many of them covered in white sheets, lying on the floor in the railway station, with wailing relatives sitting nearby. Luggage, shoes, slippers and other belongings also lay strewn across the ground.
Shreya Dhoundial, a reporter for CNN affiliate IBN in Allahabad, said that almost four hours after the stampede occurred, dead bodies remained on the station platform and injured people were still crying for help.
"If the media could get in, if police officials could get in, if railway officials could get in, why couldn't the doctors, why couldn't the ambulances?" she said.
Relatives of many of the people injured in the chaos gathered at a hospital in the city on Monday, waiting for news on their loved ones, Dhoundial said.
Azam Khan, the local official in charge of security for the huge Hindu festival, resigned Monday, IBN reported.
Khan, who is also the minister for urban development in Uttar Pradesh, the state where Allahabad is situated, said he was taking responsibility for the fatal disaster.