At least 100 pilgrims were killed and around 100 others injured in a deadly stampede that took place in southern India on Jan. 14.

The tragedy occurred at around 8 p.m (local time) when a jeep ploughed through a crowd of pilgrims who were returning from a temple after a ritual in a narrow trekking path of the forest in Idukki district of the southern state of Kerala. The overturned jeep crushed some people, and more vehicles behind the jeep slipped, and fell on the pilgrims, triggering the stampede.

Local police said that the casualties could be even higher because of the factors of low visibility and the hilly terrain.

The Kerala government immediately launched a huge rescue operation and its security forces were mobilised to the scene for the rescue efforts. However, poor light and the huge mass of people at the site hampered their operation.

According to Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony, this is one of the worst tragedies the country has ever seen. He ordered the troops to provide all the possible help.

There were several thousand pilgrims attending holy events at the Sabarimala temple on Jan. 14, the most important day for the Hindu pilgrims. Most of them came from the neighboring states, such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Witnesses said more than 100,000 pilgrims had assembled to witness the celestial light, which was the most important event of the pilgrimage/.