By Devin Watkins
Locals in the Barmer district of India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan were gathered on Sunday for a Hindu religious event that took place during heavy rain and a thunderstorm.
Video footage showed the man leading the event, Murlidhar Maharaj, shouting for the assembly to disperse, as wind could be heard rattling the venue.
Witnesses said a stampede-like situation followed.
The large tent under which they had assembled collapsed shortly thereafter, killing 14 and injuring 50 others.
A local magistrate told Reuters news agency that several people were electrocuted by live electricity wires when the tent came down. Others, he said, were hit by falling debris.
The injured were taken to hospital, where several remain in critical condition.
Some 300 people were participating in Ram Katha at a school ground in Jasol village. The event was organized by the Hindu Rani Bhatiyani temple.
Rajasthan’s disaster management minister questioned why the electrical generators were left on despite the heavy rains.
An investigation has been launched into the deadly incident.