Home/ News / India/  'Couldn't breathe, everyone was yelling': Indore stepwell collapse survivor recounts horror that killed 35

The death toll in the Indore temple stepwell collapse incident touched 35 on Friday and one of the victims of the tragedy shared the details with the news agency ANI. The victim, Lalit K Sethia was the first one to be rescued and he suffered a fracture in his right hand with some minor injuries. He shared that he was facing breathing issues inside the well and everybody was crying for help. 

"We were standing on the stepwell when the incident happened as stepwell collapsed, there were about 40-50 people including women and children. There was mayhem. I was the first one to be rescued," Sethia can be heard saying in the video.

The tragedy occurred on Thursday during Ram Navami celebrations at the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple in the Patel Nagar area of Indore. Around 40 to 50 people including women and children were participating and offering their prayers during a hawan.

A rescue operation was launched by various organizations including the Madhya Pradesh police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Emergency and Response Force (SDERF), and district administration.

Indore Municipal Commissioner Pratibha Pal on Friday took action in the matter and suspended the local building inspector and a building officer. The Madhya Pradesh government has also launched a magistrate-level investigation into the matter.

The police in Indore have also lodged an FIR against the President and Secretary of the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an ex-gratia amount of 5 lakhs to be given to the next of kin of the deceased. “An ex-gratia amount of 5 lakhs to be given to next of kin of deceased while 50,000 will be given to the injured," the Chief Minister said.

People also raised questions about how the administration permitted the building of a slab over a historic well. According to the head priest of the temple, Laxminarayan Sharma, the roofing was established without the use of concrete support. Instead, the roof was created by placing stone slabs and concrete while fitting iron rods.


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Updated: 31 Mar 2023, 08:21 PM IST
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