At least five girls have been killed and 30 other students injured in a stampede at a state-run school in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

'About 40 children were being moved from one section of the school to another,' a police officer said.

'Five were killed and 30 injured.'

The stampede occurred in a narrow staircase when some students were ordered to leave a classroom over fears that floodwater caused by torrential rain was carrying an electric charge.

However, police were unable to immediately confirm the cause of the accident, which followed a night of heavy downpours in the city.

Anxious parents gathered at the school and the local mortuary, desperate for news of their children.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was reported to have visited the hospital where the injured children were being treated.