Sunday, March 3, 2024

35 killed after falling into underground stepwell in Indore temple

(AP Photo)

The death toll in the Indore temple stepwell roof collapse rose to 35 on Friday. A search operation is underway to rescue one missing person.

During the celebration of Ram Navami at the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple in the Patel Nagar area of Indore, over 100 devotees were praying when the floor covering a well that has been there for decades and is reportedly 50 feet deep collapsed.

“So far 35 bodies have been recovered from the stepwell,” District Collector Dr Ilayaraja T told reporters.

“An FIR has been registered and a magisterial inquiry ordered into the incident. Action will be taken against those found responsible. The current priority is the rescue operation. The injured will be treated free of cost. PM has also announced ex-gratia amount to the victims. We have ordered an inspection of such step-wells and borewells across the state,” Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan told news agency ANI.

The chief minister on Friday ordered an inquiry and also relief Rs 5 lakh as relief for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

“Due to the heavy load on the stepwell, it sank. I have given instructions to investigate the incident. In this unfortunate incident, the government stands with all those families with full sensitivity, whom we could not save,” he said.

The Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple in Patel Nagar where the tragedy took place had been constructed after covering the well about four decades ago.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the victims and their families on Thursday, tweeting that he was “extremely pained” by the incident. “The State Government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace,” he said.

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