At least 36 killed after falling into well at Indian temple

Rescuers free more than a dozen after cover broke under their weight

At least 36 died after falling into well at Indian temple

At least 36 died after falling into well at Indian temple
At least 36 died after falling into well at Indian temple
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At least 36 worshippers have died and more than a dozen rescued after the floor of a Hindu temple collapsed, plunging them into a well 18m deep.

Scores of devotees fell into the ancient step well in Indore, in central Madhya Pradesh, after the floor they were standing on, which doubled as the well's roof, caved in.

The floor is believed to have collapsed under the weight of the worshippers gathered for Ram Navami celebrations.

"Thirty-six bodies have been pulled out and 18 people have been rescued so far," Dr Ilayaraj T, the district's top administrative officer, told The National.

Teams of police, firefighters, divers and emergency workers were working at the scene.

A rescue worker said it was difficult to pull out trapped people due to the water and mud in the well.

"It was a challenging operation because the walls were dilapidated and we used special equipment for cutting and hammers," he said.

The state's Home Minister Narottam Mishra said those rescued were undergoing treatment in a hospital.

He ordered an investigation into the incident and announced compensation for the family of those killed and injured.

Footage on television news channels showed emergency workers using ropes and ladders to reach those trapped in the well.

Videos on social media showed the chaos as people screamed for help for those trapped.

Tens of millions of Hindus celebrated Ram Navami to mark the birth of the deity Ram on Thursday.

Building collapses are common in India because of poor construction and a failure to observe regulations.

In October, a century-old cable suspension bridge, built over the Machchhu river in the western state of Gujarat, collapsed sending hundreds of people plunging into the water. At least 132 were killed.

Updated: March 31, 2023, 12:39 PM