Twenty-one people, most of them attending a funeral, were killed and at least 20 others injured when the roof of a shelter at a cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh’s Muradnagar collapsed on Sunday (January 3), the police said.
Several people had taken shelter under the structure as it rained. Most of them were relatives 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.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also sent to the spot in Muradnagar’s Ukhlarsi village.
Apart from the 21 dead, 20 others were admitted to different hospitals, officials said Sunday evening.
They added that the number of the injured could be higher as some others were taken away from the site by their relatives.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives. He announced ₹2 lakh as financial relief for the families of each person 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.