Disasters & Accidents

Protests held in Indian city after roof collapse at funeral kills 24

New Delhi, Jan 4 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of people on Monday held a protest in the Indian city of Muradnagar, situated in the northern Uttar Pradesh province, demanding action a day after at least 24 people were killed and 18 injured when the roof of a crematorium collapsed during a funeral.

The accident has been linked to negligence by municipal authorities and faults in the structure.

The protesters, most of them family members and friends of the accident victims, blocked one of the main roads in Muradnagar, which connects the district with capital New Delhi, demanding compensation for the deaths and stringent punishments for those responsible for the accident.

Although the local government had on Sunday announced compensation worth 200,000 rupees ($3,000) for the victims’ families, a day later the protesters demanded fairer indemnification not just for the deceased but also for the injured people.

Additional superintendent of police for the district, Iraj Raja, confirmed the casualties on Monday and said that three out of four suspects had been arrested in relation to the incident, while a fourth was expected to be nabbed “very soon.”

The detainees include an engineer and the supervisor in-charge of the structure’s construction.

Raja told reporters that the authorities cannot comment on the reason behind the incident until they receive a technical report.

The incident took place on Sunday when dozens of people attending a funeral had gathered under a recently constructed shelter to protect themselves from rain and were buried under the debris when the roof collapsed suddenly.

The victims, all of them men, mainly consisted of family members and friends who had come to assist the cremation rites. All the injured have been admitted to local hospitals.

The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath had on Sunday ordered a comprehensive probe into the reasons behind the incident, with locals alleging corruption and negligence in public constructions.

This kind of accidents are common in India, owing to the often precarious condition of infrastructure and a lack of maintenance, factors that are aggravated by corruption and illegal practices within the construction sector. EFE-EPA


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