MEHSANA: Two persons, including an eight-year-boy, were killed and more than 35 injured when a compound wall of an Idgah collapsed on them after they had offered prayers on the occasion of Eid here today.
The mishap took place when more than 2,000 people had gathered at the Madhpara-based Idgah (not a mosque) to offer Eid 'namaz'.
"We learnt from the locals that a 20-feet-long portion of the compound wall of Idgah premises fell on more than 50 persons, who had come out after offering namaz. When they were standing near the wall to collect their footwear, the wall suddenly collapsed on them," said police inspector B N Jadav of Mehsana 'B' division.
An 8-year-old boy and a 62-year-old man died in the mishap. More than 35 people were rushed to hospital, he said.
Local police along with other officials rushed to the spot and started rescue operations. A JCB machine and tractors were pressed into service after which victims were pulled out of the debris and rushed to nearby hospitals.
Mehsana Collector Lochan Sehra too rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operation. "The structure of Idgah, including the 8-feet-high compound wall is almost 35 years old. Recently, the management raised the ground level of Idgah's prayer area by filling up the ground with clay near the wall. This may have put pressure on the old wall," said Sehra.
"Today morning, when some of the children, who came to offer prayers, were sitting on the wall, it collapsed outside on others who had just come out. Our administration quickly swung into action and started rescue operation. We are now demolishing remaining part of the old wall and the gate structure, as they have also weakened," the Collector said.