A local government official reported on Friday that at least 35 people were killed and 16 were injured when the roof of a stepwell in a temple complex in central India fell (March 31).
Thursday, in the city of Indore in central India, a concrete slab covering the roof of a stepwell at a temple complex collapsed, crushing devotees who had gathered to celebrate the Hindu holiday of Ram Navami, according to officials.
Stepwells are widespread in India and were constructed hundreds of years ago; many are ornately adorned and provide access to a pool of water through stairs and niches.
"The stepwell was covered, but the slab covering it collapsed because of the crowd and extra load on it," Shivraj Singh Chouhan, chief minister of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, where Indore is located, told reporters late Thursday.
Local media said that at least 75 army and rescue professionals worked throughout the day to remove rubble and bring individuals out of the well using ropes and ladders.
Ilayaraja T, a high-ranking local government official, told Reuters, "We have rescued 18 people, 35 have been found dead, and 16 are injured,"
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, offered condolences and announced compensation for the incident's victims.