At least 12 people were killed and 20 others injured in a stampede at the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir triggered by a heavy rush of devotees, officials said on Saturday.

The stampede was triggered by a heavy rush of devotees who have come to pay their obeisance to mark the beginning of the New Year, the officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and said he had spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union ministers Jitendra Singh and Nityanand Rai to take stock of the situation.

LG Sinha has ordered a probe into the stampede.

In a series of tweet, the office of the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor said, “Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to stampede at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. My condolences to the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.”

Senior officials and shrine board representatives are on the spot.

Officials said 12 people died in the stampede and their bodies have been removed to a hospital in the Katra base camp for identification and other legal formalities.