In a horrific incident, four people were mauled to death by a wild bear in a forest area in India. Authorities said three other people were injured in the attack.

The people, who stayed nearby, had ventured into the forest area in Korea (Koriya) district in the central state of Chhattisgarh to gather some produce, and were attacked by the wild bear while they were on their way back home, Republic World reported, citing a forest official.

Authorities said forest officials and rescuers arrived at the scene after learning about the attack but it took them hours to recover the bodies of the victims as the bear sat close to the corpses.

An unidentified official told media outlets one of the victims climbed a nearby try to escape the bear. He continued to sit on the tree until rescuers arrived and helped him come down.

Police said two men and two women died in the attack. Two of the three injured were in a critical condition and were moved to a hospital for treatment. One victim had minor injuries and was discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment Monday night. The identities of the victims were not revealed.

Forest officials said they have deployed tranquilizer guns and a veterinary doctor has been sent to the area where the attack took place to capture the bear. According to reports, drone cameras have also been set up in the area.

In September, a 25-year-old man died after being attacked by bears in Chhattisgarh's Surajpur district, a forest official said at the time. According to the Deccan Herald, the attack took place when the man was going to his paddy field on a bicycle.

The victim was accompanied by another villager when they came across two bears. Officials said the victim was attacked by the bears while the other villager managed to escape the scene. Villagers rushed to the area after they were alerted about the incident, and the victim was taken to a hospital, but he succumbed to injuries before receiving treatment.

This is a representational image of a bear. AFP / STR