Two devotees were killed and seven others injured in a stampede-like situation at the famous Bankey Bihari temple in Mathura during Janmashtami celebrations in the early hours of Saturday, officials said.
"Prima facie, the cause of death is suffocation due to a heavy rush during the 'mangala aarti'," District Magistrate Navneet Singh Chahal said.
A 55-year-old woman from Noida and a 65-year-old devotee from Jabalpur died in the incident, a senior official said.
The administration has taken the incident seriously and Agra commissioner Amit Gupta is reaching Mathura to assess the reasons that led to it and provide guidance to the local administration, the official added.
Shashank Goswami, a temple priest, said the incident took place at the time of the 'mangala aarti' around 1.45 am when the courtyard was jam-packed with devotees.
Timely intervention and administration of first aid to the injured helped save many lives, he said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and directed officials to ensure that all necessary help is provided to the injured, according to an official statement issued in Lucknow.
He also directed the Home Department to ensure proper arrangements are made at religious places during festivals to prevent any untoward incidents, the statement said.