Indore: Eleven devotees died and approximately as many sustained injuries when a more-than-30-ft-deep but almost empty stepwell collapsed on Thursday at the ancient Baleshwar Mahadev shrine – in this divisional headquarters’ Patel Nagar area – that was packed with worshippers on the festive occasion of Ram Navami, law-enforcement authorities confirmed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in social media, “Extremely pained by the mishap in Indore. Spoke to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and took an update on the situation. The state government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace. My prayers with all those affected and their families.”
Those hurt have been hospitalized. Ladders and ropes were lowered into the underground structure as part of the rescue operation. Senior officers of the district administration are on the scene.
“The incident is most unfortunate. Despite considerable endeavours, 11 citizens could not be saved. An inquiry has been ordered. Ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each shall be provided to the next of kin and Rs 50,000 to every injured individual,” Mr Chouhan said.