Dussehra celebrations
People watch as an effigy of 10-headed demon King Ravana is burned during the Hindu festival of Dussehra in the northern Indian city of Amritsar Oct. 3, 2014. Reuters/Munish Sharma

At least 33 people were killed and about two dozen injured in India’s northeastern city of Patna because of a stampede that took place while celebrants were burning an effigy at the Dussehra religious festival, the Hindustan Times reported. Authorities said they will begin an investigation of the disaster, which happened at the Gandhi Maidan in the capital city of Bihar state.

The state’s government announced compensation of 300,000 rupees ($4,873) to the family of each person killed in the accident and the country’s government announced compensation of 200,000 rupees ($3,248) to the family of each person killed, the Times said. Most of the victims died of suffocation.

Some people who attended the event said the deadly rush was triggered by rumors of other people coming into contact with a live wire, which caused a stampede toward the exit gate.

“No preparation was in place to account for the mass exit by thousands of people from a single gate in darkness at the same time,” an eyewitness told the Times, apparently blaming event organizers for the lack of lighting at the venue.

The religious festival Dussehra encompasses the burning of an effigy of the mythological character Ravana from the Hindu epic “Ramayana.” Tens of thousands of people gather every year to watch the celebrations, which also include small plays being performed and prayers to commemorate the past.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sympathy for the victims and their families via Twitter Friday: