15 killed, 50 injured as pandal collapses in Barmer

As many as 15 persons were killed and 50 got injured after a tent collapsed in Jasol village in Barmer district of Rajasthan due to heavy rain and dust storm on Sunday afternoon. DH photo by Tabeenah Anjum

As many as 15 persons were killed and 50 got injured after a tent collapsed in Jasol village in Barmer district of Rajasthan due to heavy rain and dust storm on Sunday afternoon.

The incident took place around 4 pm in Jasol village where a gathering of thousands of men and women were attending a religious program Ram Katha (recital of Lord Ram's life and sayings) under the huge tents. The injured have been admitted to Nahata government hospital in Barmer. Some were also referred to Jodhpur. 
 
 "A 'Ram Katha' was organised at Jasol village when the Pandaal (tent) was uprooted by strong winds trapping the people sitting under it, Additional Superintendent of Police Barmer, Khinv Singh said. 

In a video that has surfaced on social media shows Kathavachak, the narrator abruptly cutting short his narration - Ram Katha to alert the listeners, " Hawa tez hai, katha ko rokna padega, pandal udd raha hai , isko khali kardejiye, bahar nikaliye sabhi (Wind is strong , the story has to be stopped, everyone quickly vacate the premises as the tent is about to collapse)", Murlidhar Maharaj, a Kathavachak from Jodhpur appealed to thousands of devotees of Lord Ram who were listening to him under the tent. 

 
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in a tweet said that the local administration is providing relief and rescue operations. He tweeted, "Concerned officials have been directed to investigate the incident, ensure prompt treatment for the injured and provide every possible relief to those affected and their relatives'. 
 
 Local MP and union minister Kailash Choudhry has cancelled all programs and rushed to Jasol village in Barmer to take the stock of the situation. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted about Barmer tent collapse "Collapse of a Pandaal’ in Rajasthan’s Barmer is unfortunate. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and I wish the injured a quick recovery." 
 

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