The death toll from an accidental discharge of water from a dam in central India has risen to at least 53 people.

Police in the state of Madhya Pradesh say at least 35 others remain unaccounted for, and that divers and lifeguards are looking for them.

The tragedy occurred Saturday in Dharaji village, where tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims had gathered on the banks of the Narmada River for a religious festival.

Dam officials say they were not informed of the festival and that the release of water was a routine part of their power-generation program.

The state chief minister Babulal Gaur who visited the site says an investigation is under way, and that families of those killed will receive compensation.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.