At least 8 Hindu devotees die in India temple collapse
New Delhi, Mar 30 (EFE).- At least eight people died while 19 others were rescued Thursday after part of a temple caved in, throwing dozens of Hindu devotees into a deep step-well in central India, said the authorities.
The accident occurred as devotees were celebrating the birthday of Hindu lord Rama at the temple in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said he was “extremely saddened” to hear the “heart-wrenching news of civilian casualties in the accident in Indore.”
“Proper arrangements have been made for the treatment of the injured. All their medical expenses will be borne by the state government,” Chauhan tweeted.
The chief minister did not reveal the casualty figures.
But a local administration official Illaiyaraja T told the Press Trust of India that eight people died while 19 were rescued.
Overcrowding is said to have caused the accident as the concrete slab over the step-well collapsed when the premises were packed with devotees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “extremely pained by the mishap in Indore.”
“The state government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace. My prayers with all those affected and their families.”
Stampedes during religious celebrations are common in India due to huge crowds and a lack of security measures to control the mobs.
At least 12 people died in a stampede at a Hindu temple in the northern Kashmir region in January last year.
One of the worst such tragedies took place on Jan.25, 2005, when at least 258 people were killed during a Hindu pilgrimage in the western state of Maharashtra. EFE