West News Wire: At least 11 people were killed when a structure covering an ancient temple well in India fell on Thursday while a sizable gathering of worshippers prayed at a festival for Rama, one of the most popular Hindu deities, officials said.
When the building collapsed and was buried under falling debris, up to 35 individuals may have fallen into the well at the temple complex in Indore, central Madhya Pradesh, according to police commissioner Makrand Deoskar.
It appears that the building collapsed because the weight of the big crowd was too much for it. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the chief elected official of the state, directed an inquiry.
According to Chouhan, 18 individuals were saved and taken to the hospital with injuries.
Rescue personnel were searching for any additional victims while draining water out of the well.
Temple authorities had stopped using the well years ago and covered it with the structure.
Witnesses said a large crowd of devotees had thronged the temple to perform a fire ritual and celebrate the Hindu festival.
Building collapses are common in India because of poor construction and a failure to observe regulations.
In October, a century-old cable suspension bridge collapsed into a river in the western state of Gujarat, sending hundreds of people plunging into the water and killing at least 132 in one of the worst accidents in the country in the past decade.