Ghaziabad (UP), January 3
Twenty-three people, most of them attending a funeral, were killed and 15 others injured when the roof of a shelter at a cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh’s Muradnagar collapsed on Sunday, police said.
Several people had taken shelter under the recently constructed structure while it rained.
The dead, all of them men, were mostly relatives or neighbours of Jai Ram, who was being cremated at that time, officials said.
Rescue workers sifted through the building’s rubble for hours to ensure that more victims were not trapped there.
The local people were the first to arrive at the cremation ground in Muradnagar’s Ukhlarsi village in Ghaziabad district, adjoining the national capital.
Police followed by a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) unit then reached the spot, pulling out the dead and the injured from the debris.
Apart from the 23 dead, 15 people were admitted at different hospitals, Ghaziabad (Rural) Superintendent of Police Iraj Raja said. At least 18 of the dead had been identified by the evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the deaths.
“I express my condolences to the near and dear ones of those who lost their lives in this accident, and also hope for a quick recovery of the injured,” Modi tweeted in Hindi.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives. He announced Rs 2 lakh as financial relief for the families of each man killed.
The chief minister also directed Meerut’s Divisional Commissioner and Additional Director General of the police zone to submit a report on the incident.
Union minister V K Singh, who is a Member of Parliament from Ghaziabad, and several senior police and administration officials visited the accident site.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Atul Garg, who is the local BJP MLA, met some of the injured at the government hospital here. PTI