13 dead so far after stepwell collapses at Indore temple; CM Chouhan announces ex-gratia

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Rescue operations underway after roof of a stepwell collapsed at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh | Photo: PTI

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): As many as 13 persons have died so far after the roof of a stepwell of a temple collapsed in Madhya Pradesh's Indore district on Thursday, state home minister Narottam Mishra said.

The incident occurred at Beleshwar Jhulelal Mahadev Temple located in Patel Nagar locality in the city at around 11 in the morning during a Havan puja going on in view of the Ram Navami festival.

Mishra said, "Around 30 people were trapped in the stepwell out of which a total of 19 people were rescued. According to the latest information, 11 bodies have been recovered which includes 10 women and one man. Of the 19 people who were rescued, two persons died. So, a total of 13 have died so far. Order has been given for a probe into the incident."

Talking to ANI over phone, Indore Collector Ilayaraja T said, "11 dead bodies have been recovered so far and the rescue operation is still going on."

Police, Municipal Corporation, district administration SDRF (State Disaster Response Force), QRF (quick reaction force) and ambulances were present on the spot and the rescue operation was on.

On the other hand, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh to be given to next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 would be given to the injured. Besides, free treatment arrangements will be made for the injured.

Earlier, Indore Collector Dr Ilayaraja T said, "So many people assembled near a stepwell to do 'hawan'. The overcrowding surrounding the stepwell could be the reason that led to the collapse of the floor. Around 25 people fell into the well, 15 have been rescued so far, an operation to rescue the rest of them is underway. There is a possibility of casualties."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed sorrow over the incident and he took to Twitter to state that he spoke to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the mishap.

"Extremely pained by the mishap in Indore. Spoke to CM @ChouhanShivraj Ji and took an update on the situation. The State Government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace. My prayers with all those affected and their families," PM Modi said.

CM Chouhan said that he took cognizance of the incident and termed the incident "unfortunate". After the incident, speaking to ANI, he had said, "It's an unfortunate incident. A rescue operation is underway. 10 people were rescued safely while nine are trapped and will be rescued. Efforts are underway to rescue other people."

Former CM Kamal Nath also wrote on twitter, "A sad news was received that 25 people fell into the stepwell during Havan at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple in Indore. I pray to God that all the devotees come out safely. May Lord Ram protect everyone."


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