JAIPUR: At least 15 people were killed in an unfortunate incident of a tent collapse in Rajasthan's Barmer district. The tent, where a Ram Katha discourse was taking place , collapsed due to rain and thunderstorm. There were about 1500 people in attendance and a large number of them were elderly people. More than 50 people have reportedly been injured.
Onlookers say that the weather changed dramatically bringing gusty winds along with rains.
Locals took the injured to the nearby hospital in their vehicles. The hospital administration has asked all doctors and staff to report for urgent duty.
Inspector General of Police Range Jodhpur, Sachin Mittal, has confirmed 12 deaths.
According to sources, Ram Katha was organized under the aegis of Shri Rani Bhatiani Temple Institute, Jasol and it started one day earlier. While internationally renowned speaker, Murlidhar Maharaj was giving a discourse, he saw the tent was about to collapse and instructed the people to vacate the spot and himself ran away from the dais.
According to reports, the thunderstorm was so intense that the tent was blown in the air and the iron stands supporting it became conductor of electricity killing people on the spot.
According to local MLA Madan Prajapat: "There are many religious events that take place here. But the question here is whether the administration lapse caused this accident? Whether there was any permission taken for the event and were there ambulances present considering the audience? The guilty will be investigated."
Minister of Disaster Management, Master Bhanwarlal said, "The entire administration is looking into the matter. We feel that if organizers had been careful, the tragedy could've been avoided. The injured are being looked after and treated."
He added, "looking at the weather, the organizers had to be prepared. The tent had pipes and electric wires. We will get to the crux of the matter after a thorough investigation."
Additional Chief Secretary of state Home department Rajiv Swaroop held an emergency meeting in CMO and asked for detailed report from District Collector. The administration was instructed to provide immediate relief to the injured in Barmer and Jodhpur Hospitals.
Rajasthan's Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has termed the incident very sad and has asked for the injured to be treated immediately. He has also asked the district administration for an investigation .
"The information about the loss of a large number of people in the tragedy of the tent falling during Ram Katha in Barmer is extremely tragic, unfortunate. I pray for the peace of the departed souls. I also wish for early recovery of the wounded. Work of relief and rescue is being done by the local administration.The concerned officers have been instructed to investigate the incident, to ensure prompt treatment of the injured and to provide all possible help to the affected and their families", CM Ashok Gehlot tweeted regarding Jasol, Barmer incident.