At least three people have died after about 30 villagers fell into a well during a rescue operation in Madhya Pradesh's Vidisha district on Thursday, the police said. Nineteen people have been rescued and rushed to a hospital.
The villagers reportedly fell into the well when they were trying to rescue a boy who had fallen in the well earlier. As per officials, the parapet wall around the well collapsed due to the weight of people who were trying to rescue the boy. The well is around 50 feet deep with a water level of about 20 feet, news agency PTI reported quoting locals.
The incident took place at Ganj Basoda, about 50 kilometres from the district headquarters.
Speaking on the incident, Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan said that the rescue operation is on and he is in regular touch with the officials concerned.
"I am constantly in touch with the administration at the site of the incident and am continuously monitoring the rescue operations. As the representative of the state government, Vidisha's in-charge minister Vishwas Sarang was present at the spot throughout the night. Under his supervision the rescue teams are engaged in rescuing the trapped people," he said.
"The National Disaster Management Force and State Disaster Management Force have been pressed into action. Inspector General, Zone, and other senior officials have also reached the spot. I am in touch with the concerned officials," Mr Chouhan told the media.
The villagers were trying to rescue a boy who fell into the well around 9 pm on Thursday. While some people climbed down to rescue her, others were standing on the parapet wall around it to help them, a police official said.
The wall suddenly crashed, throwing those standing on it into the water, he said.
Around 11 pm, a tractor engaged in the rescue operation, along with four policemen, skidded into the well when the area around it caved in, news agency PTI said quoting eyewitnesses.
The Chief Minister has also ordered a high-level inquiry and instructed the officials to ensure the best possible medical treatment for those injured.
Mr Chouhan also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the victims. Those injured will be given Rs 50,000 and provided free treatment facility, he said.