14 Killed as Giant Tent Collapses During India Festival

Heavy rain and strong winds caused a huge tent to collapse on worshippers at a religious festival in northern India leaving at least 14 people dead and more than 50 injured.

Many of those who died are said to be the elderly and young children unable to escape from the tent as it collapsed on Sunday afternoon, Daily Mail writes.

Sources say some died as a result of being electrocuted, with others killed by falling debris at the festival in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Hundreds of locals had gathered for a religious event being held on a school ground near the Rani Bhatinyani temple in the Barmer district.

Footage from inside the tent showed how in the minutes before the tent’s collapse, the man leading the Ram Katha ceremony, Murlidhar Maharaj, realised the structure was no longer safe and called for its evacuation.

The winds are strong. We will have to stop the Katha,” he said pointing to the strong winds hitting against the tent.

The tent is flying. Please leave the area,’‘ he said in the live footage.

He could be seen fleeing the tent, as many others followed suit – in what local media have described as a stampede.

Those who couldn’t get out were trapped in the tent as the strong winds uprooted the foundations and caused it to collapse.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has ordered an investigation into the fatal collapse of the incident and compensation for the victims.

He spent time on Sunday visiting the families of those who had died and the injured victims in hospital.

In a tweet he also praised the emergency services for their efforts at the scene.


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