At least 14 people were killed and around 50 others injured on Sunday when a tent in Rajasthan's Barmer collapsed following heavy rain and thunderstorm. Those injured have been taken to hospitals nearby where several of them remain critical.
The incident took place at a school ground near the Rani Bhatiyani temple in Barmer district's Jasol village, around 500 km from Jaipur, where more than a thousand people had gathered for a religious event. District officials soon arrived at the spot and assisted with crowd control.
According to sources, some of the people trapped under the tent may have been electrocuted due to the generators at the venue. The state government has ordered investigation into the incident,.
The government also announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of those killed, and up to Rs 2 lakh to those injured.
The person leading the event could be seen on video stopping the Ram Katha midway and asking people to move out safely as the winds grew stronger.
The event, organised by the Rani Bhatiyani temple, started on Saturday and was to continue till June 30.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on the incident.
Collapse of a ‘Pandaal' in Rajasthan's Barmer is unfortunate. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and I wish the injured a quick recovery: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 23, 2019
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that local authorities have been asked to probe the incident. "Relief and rescue work is being carried out by the local administration. The concerned authorities have been asked to investigate the incident, ensure speedy treatment of the injured and provide all possible assistance to those affected and their families," he tweeted in Hindi.
Senior BJP leader and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje also tweeted her condolences. "Saddened to hear the news of the death of more than a dozen people in the Pandal accident during Ram Katha in Barmer's Jasol. I pray for those who lost their lives and strength to their bereaved families in this hour of grief," she tweeted in Hindi.
She further asked BJP workers to extend all possible help to those injured and their families. Ms Raje also called on the state government to extend financial assistance to the families of those who were killed and injured in the incident.
Union Minister Kailash Choudhary, the Member of Parliament from Barmer constituency, said he was leaving for Barmer from Delhi to meet the families of the victims and the injured, according to news agency PTI.