A stampede at a religious ceremony in Haridwar killed at least 16 people including 14 women and left scores of others injured Tuesday morning.

The incident happened at Haridwar's Neeldhara sector where thousands of devotees had gathered for the centenary celebrations of spiritual Guru Pandit Sriram Sharma. Sources said that the stampede happened after pilgrims climbing the stairs toward the ceremony venue stumbled.

The 16 people killed in the stampede were kept at GD Hospital and the injured were being treated. Police sources said that the death toll could rise as some are critically injured. Meanwhile, Uttarakhand CM BC Khanduri has directed Hardwar District Magistrate to probe into the cause of the mishap.

The celebrations started on Nov. 7 and are scheduled to end on Nov. 11. Over 50 lakh devotees are expected to join the celebrations. Big personalities who are planning to attend the event include the Dalai Lama, anticorruption activist Anna Hazare and Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.