The incident occurred when devotees gathered to celebrate the Hindu festival of Ram Navami in the city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
At least 35 people were killed and more than a dozen injured after the cover of a temple in central India collapsed and people fell inside, local officials said.
The incident occurred when devotees gathered to celebrate the Hindu festival of Ram Navami at a temple in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, officials said.
“We have rescued 18 people, 35 dead and 16 injured,” Indore district magistrate Ilayaraja T told Reuters on Friday.
VIDEO | At the Bereshwar Mahadev temple in Indore, rescue operations are still underway after the roof of the stepwell collapsed yesterday during the ‘Havan’ program held on the occasion of Ram Navami. pic.twitter.com/Tmx4M6mffp
—Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) March 31, 2023
The Times of India said rescue operations were swift on Thursday night after underwater cameras showed bodies floating in muddy water in the well.
After pumping water, nearly 140 rescue workers used ropes and ladders to lift the bodies out of the well. Narrow passages and well debris made the task difficult.
Dozens of people fell into the temple complex’s well and were covered in falling debris, said Police Commissioner McCland Deosker.
Temple officials stopped using the well years ago and covered its mouth with iron bars and tiles, officials said.
State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said the structure collapsed because it could not handle the weight of the large crowd.
Chouhan said 18 people were rescued and hospitalized with injuries. He ordered an investigation into the incident.
According to the Times of India, city officials in January ordered temple owners to remove the cover of the well, citing it as a safe and unlicensed structure, but temple officials warned. ignored.
Witnesses said crowds of devotees flocked to the temple for a fire ceremony to mark the Hindu festival.
Building collapses are common in India due to poor construction and non-compliance with regulations.
In October, a 100-year-old suspension bridge collapsed into a river in West Gujarat, sending hundreds into the water and killing at least 132 people in one of the worst accidents in the past decade.