YINCHUAN, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Fourteen people died and ten others were injured in a stampede during a religious event in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on Sunday, said local government.
The stampede happened at around 1 p.m. Sunday in the Beida Mosque in Xiji County, Guyuan City, when traditional food was being distributed to believers who gathered to commemorate a late religious figure.
All the injured were immediately rushed to a local hospital in Xiji. Fourteen died despite doctors' efforts. Ten others were being treated in hospitals. Four in serious condition have been transferred to a hospital in Guyuan.
People trampled each other as they were rushing for food, said Mao Minna, whose mother and five-year-old daughter also fell during the stampede.
Mao said she managed to pull them out, and her daughter was injured.
This year's event had a record number of participants, as it fell over the weekend, said Tan Zongzhi, head of the Xiji Religious Affairs Bureau.
The bodies of the dead have been carried back to their homes for burial.
An investigation into the accident is under way.
The Xiji stampede was caused by poor organization and insufficient management during a normal religious activity, according to a meeting of the standing committee of Communist Party of China Ningxia regional committee held on Monday.
A lesson must be drawn and religious administration should be strengthened to avoid all kinds of safety accidents, according to the meeting.
The meeting stressed that the cause of the accident should be discovered as soon possible and those found accountable should be dealt with seriously.
The committee also demanded all-out efforts to treat those with serious injuries and that information about the accident be announced in a timely manner.
A safety overhaul will be carried out across the region in the first quarter of the year, it added.