At least 14 were killed and over 50 injured after a 'pandal' collapsed during a religious gathering on Sunday in Jasol village of Rajasthan's Barmer district. Injured have been rushed to Nahata Hospital in Balotra where they are getting treatment and those who are seriously injured have been referred to Jodhpur.
However, initial reports suggest that 18 people lost their lives in the incident. According to reports, people had gathered at a school ground near Rani Bhatiyani temple in Jasol village for a "Ramayan Katha" when the tent collapsed because of a dust storm.
Over 1,000 people were present at the gathering when the tragic incident took place. Rescue operations are underway and several JCB machines are at the spot.
“A 'Ram Katha' was organised at Jasol area of the district when the shamiana was uprooted by strong winds trapping the people sitting under it,” Additional Superintendent of Police, Khinv Singh, said.
According to officials, several people are still feared trapped inside the tent. Senior officials of district administration are present to monitor the rescue operations.
Some reports claim the main reason behind the deaths is electrocution. They claim the electric wires snapped after 'pandals' fell and several persons were electrocuted to death. According to officials, the organisers had not taken permission to organise the event.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took stock of the situation from Jaipur and ordered a probe into the incident.
He also expressed grief and condoled the deaths. He said rescue operations were being done by the district administration.
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The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of those killed and up to Rs 2 lakh for those who were injured.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary, who is the local MP, said he was leaving for Barmer from Delhi to meet the families of the victims and the injured.
PM Narendra Modi has also extended condolences to the bereaved families who lost lives in Barmer, Rajasthan.
"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 Narendra Modi," tweeted PMO India.
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
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condoled the deaths in the incident.