Indore: The death toll in the Indore temple stepwell collapse incident has now increased to 36 and efforts are being made to retrieve the body of another missing person, the police official said on Friday.
Besides, a case has been registered against the President and Secretary of temple administration under IPC section 304. Case of unintentional murder registered, said Makrand Deoskar, Commissioner of Police (CP), Indore. Earlier on Friday morning, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reached Indore to meet with the injured persons admitted in the hospital in the stepwell collapse incident.
The incident occurred at Beleshwar Jhulelal Mahadev Temple located in Patel Nagar locality in the city at around 11 am on Thursday during a Havan puja going on in view of the Ram Navami festival.
CM Chouhan along with state home minister Narottam Mishra and others also reached the incident spot and inspected the rescue efforts at the site.
"An FIR registered, magisterial inquiry ordered into the incident. Action will be taken against those found responsible. The current priority is the rescue operation. The injured will be treated free of cost. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced an ex-gratia amount to the victims. We have ordered an inspection of such step-wells and borewells across the state," Chouhan said.
"A total of 35 people died, one missing and 14 people have been rescued. Two people returned home safely after getting treatment. The search operation to trace persons reported missing is underway," Indore Collector said.
"The 18 hours long rescue operation started at around 12:30 on Thursday, and is still ongoing," Collector Ilayaraja T added.
According to officials, a team of 75 army personnel along with NDRF and SDRF are engaged in the operation.
After the incident, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh to be given to next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 would be given to the injured. Besides, free treatment arrangements will be made for the injured.
Earlier, Indore Collector Dr Ilayaraja T said, "So many people assembled near a stepwell to do 'hawan'. The overcrowding surrounding the stepwell could be the reason that led to the collapse of the floor."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to take stock of the situation.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, "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 are with all those affected and their families."
"An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the unfortunate tragedy in Indore today. The injured would be given Rs 50,000," tweeted PMO India.