Emergency workers carry a victim out of the temple on a stretcher Emergency workers carry a victim out of the temple on a stretcher  (AFP or licensors)

36 dead after well collapse in India

The death count in the incident, at a temple in central India, rises to 36 after the body of the last missing person is found.

By Joseph Tulloch

At least thirty-six people have been killed, and another sixteen injured, in an incident at a Hindu temple in central India. 

Worshippers were standing on a concrete slab over a 40ft (12m) deep stepwell when it gave way under their weight.

Stepwells, which have stairs descending to water level, are found across India. Most of them are centuries old. 

The incident occurred on Thursday night, in the central Indian city of Indore. The victims had gathered at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple for the Hindu festival of Rama Navami.

"The stepwell was covered, but the slab covering it collapsed because of the crowd and extra load on it," Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, the state where the temple is located, told journalists on Thursday. 

According to local media, soldiers and other rescue personnel worked throughout the night to rescue survivors. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he was “extremely pained” by the incident, adding that his prayers would be with those affected and their families.

Rama Navami, which the victims had gathered in the temple to celebrate, is a Hindu festival commemorating the birth of Lord Ram, the seventh avatar of the deity Vishnu. 

Hindus celebrate by praying, fasting, and singing devotional songs.

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31 March 2023, 12:56