The bodies of at least 70 people have washed up on the banks of the Ganges river in northern India.
Images on social media of the bodies floating in the river prompted outrage and speculation that they died from COVID-19.
The discovery, near the border between the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, has prompted outrage amid speculation that the victims died from COVID-19.
Authorities performed autopsies on Tuesday but said they could not confirm the cause of death due to the decomposition of the bodies.
More corpses were found floating in the river on Tuesday, washing up in Ghazipur district in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state.
Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state.
Some reports say as many as 100 bodies have been found, and that their condition suggests they may have been in the river for several days.
Police and villagers were at the site, about 50 kilometres from Monday’s incident.
Surinder, a resident of Ghazipur who uses one name, said villagers did not have enough wood to cremate their dead on land.
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are experiencing rising COVID-19 cases as infections in India grow faster than anywhere else in the world.
India has had the second-highest number of confirmed cases after the US, with nearly 23 million and more than 240,000 deaths.