A six-year-old boy was rushed to hospital with serious burn injuries after his father dropped him on hot coals during a ritual, a doctor said on Monday. The incident happened in Jalandhar district of Punjab.

The father was walking barefoot with his son Kartik in his arms on the red-hot embers when he lost his balance and fell during the ritual on Sunday, according to a source.

Bystanders rushed to the rescue and took Kartik to hospital.

b’xc2xa0A devotee dropping his son as he falls while running on burning coals at the Maa Maariamma Mela event in Jalandhar on Sunday. / Source: AFP’

“The boy was admitted last (Sunday) night in the emergency ward. He has burn injuries on his limbs and on one side of his trunk,” doctor Jangpreet Singh said.

“The father has also sustained about 15 per cent burns. I think it will take at least five to seven days for their wounds to heal,” Mr. Singh said.

b’A Hindu devotee runs on burning coals at the Maa Maariamma Mela event in Jalandhar on June 12, 2016 / Source: AFP’

Around 600 devotees had gathered in Jalandhar for a festival in honour of the goddess Maa Maariamma. Devotees must fast for seven days before walking on the burning coals in the ancient Hindu practice aimed at appeasing the deity.

Three years ago, a mother carrying her daughter slipped and fell on the hot surface, also during the Jalandhar ritual.