Home/ News / India/  Death toll rises to 35 in Indore temple stepwell collapse incident; search operation still on

The death toll in the Indore temple stepwell collapse incident has increased to 35, Indore Collector Dr Ilayaraja T said told news agency ANI. "Total of 35 people died, one missing and 14 people have been rescued. Two people returned home safely after getting treatment. The search operation to trace persons reported missing is underway," Indore Collector said.

"The 18 hours long rescue operation started at around 12:30 on Thursday, and is still ongoing," he added.

According to officials, a team of 70 army personnel along with NDRF and SDRF are engaged in the operation. They are engaged in de-watering the stepwell and continue their search for people reported missing after the incident.

"The process of de-watering is being carried out. Chief Minister is monitoring the situation continuously. We have also spoken regarding the movement of the Army. A small team has been moved to the location. NDRF is working too," Indore Collector Dr Ilayaraja T had earlier said while speaking to the media.

While speaking to ANI, Margaret Roy Gorinath, Operations Head of a private hospital in Indore said, "21 injured were brought here and out of which 3 were brought dead. 6 have been shifted to ICU. The injured are having limb injuries, and fractures. 3 children have also been brought here. All patients are being monitored."

Ram Navami celebrations at the Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal Temple in the city turned into tragedy when the slab constructed over an ancient `bawdi' or well suddenly caved in. The incident occurred around 12:00 PM when devotees were participating and offering their prayers during a hawan at the temple on the occasion of Ram Navami.

Questions are now being raised as to how did the administration allow construction of a slab atop an ancient well. A local resident also alleged that rescue teams took more than an hour to reach the spot. The temple, about 40 years old, was constructed after the well which stood on the spot was covered by a concrete slab. The slab, thus, became the temple's floor. The chants of `havan' (fire ritual) and puja gave way to screams and frenzy as devotees standing on the slab fell into water.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced ex-gratia amount of 5 lakhs to be given to next of kin of 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.

PM Modi also expressed pain on the mishap and said he spoke to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and took an update on the situation. The prime minister also announced an ex-gratia from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the kin of the Indore accident victims, said a press release by Prime Minister's Office on Thursday. A tweet on the official handle of the Prime Minister's Office read; "An ex-gratia of 2 lakh (each) from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the unfortunate tragedy in Indore today. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000 (each): PM."

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 31 Mar 2023, 08:08 AM IST
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