Seven people, including three women and three youngsters, were killed and 38 injured after a balcony collapsed during a marriage ceremony in Bihar late on Tuesday.
The incident took place in Khaira village in the Bhabua area, Kaimur district. Thirteen of the injured were rushed in a critical condition to Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), about 60 km from the place where the mishap took place, for medical attention.
A wedding party from Kotsa village under Durgawati police station was in Khaira for the marriage of the daughter of local resident Sudarshan Tiwary.
Preparations were on for a ritual to welcome the groom when the balcony collapsed after several village women assembled on it to see him.
Five persons, identified as Shamsun Khatoon, 14, Baby Khatoon, 15, Dabloo Shukla, 14, Kalawati Devi, 55 and Munni Sao, 40, died on the spot, while two others died in Varanasi during treatment, a source said.
Kohari panchayat head Ram Yash Kushwaha and journalist Ashok Kumar, who were invitees from the girl's side, started rescue operations and sent the critically injured to the Sadar hospital, Bhabua. They were later referred to Varanasi.
Sub-divisional magistrate Vikas Kumar Jaiswal, sub-divisional police officer Nirmala and Bhabua SHO Rakesh Kumar Singh also visited the village.
The marriage ceremony of Sonu Pandey and Laxmi was performed as per schedule, but in a sombre atmosphere.