Thirty-six bodies have been found inside a well at a Hindu temple in central India after dozens of people attending a festival fell into the muddy water when its cover collapsed, officials said Friday.
Video of Thursday’s collapse at the temple complex in Indore in Madhya Pradesh state showed chaos afterward, with people rushing away. An excavator pulled down a wall of the decades-old temple to help people flee.
Nearly 140 rescuers, including army personnel, used ropes and ladders to pull the bodies from the well after pumping out the water. A narrow path and debris in the well made the task difficult.
WELL COLLAPSE AT INDIAN TEMPLE KILLS AT LEAST 8
“We have recovered 36 bodies and everybody is accounted for now,” Pawan Kumar Sharma, commissioner of the local municipal corporation, told The Associated Press.
The secretary of the temple board was among the dead and the president is recovering from injuries, Sharma said.
Police brought a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, but no arrests have been made so far, he said.
Witnesses said a large crowd of devotees had thronged the temple to perform a fire ritual and celebrate the festival for the deity Rama