Indore: The death toll in the Indore temple stepwell collapse has increased to 35, Indore Collector Dr Ilayaraja T said on Friday.
“Total of 35 people died, one missing, and 14 have been rescued. Two people returned home safely after getting treatment. The search operation to trace persons reported missing is underway,” Dr Ilayaraja said.
“The 18 hours-long rescue operation started at around 12:30 on Thursday, and is still ongoing,” Ilayaraja T added. According to officials, a team of 75 army personnel along with NDRF and SDRF are engaged in the operation.
At least 14 devotees were killed after the roof of a stepwell collapsed during a ‘hawan’ organised at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple in Patel Nagar area of Indore in Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Ram Navami.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced ₹5 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased, and ₹50,000 to the injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to CM Chouhan to take stock of the situation.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said: “Extremely pained by the mishap in Indore. Spoke to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and took an update on the situation. The State Government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace. My prayers are with all those affected and their families.”
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The chief minister termed the incident “unfortunate”. He said that 10 people have been rescued so far, while nine of them continue to remain trapped inside the stepwell. In a statement, the chief minister’s office said: “Several ambulances were also deployed at the site.”