7 killed as tree falls on shed in Maha temple | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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7 killed as tree falls on shed in Maha temple

Apr 11, 2023 12:35 AM IST

Chief minister Eknath Shinde expressed grief over the incident, and announced an ex gratia compensation of ₹4 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased.

Seven people were killed and at least 35 others sustained injuries after heavy rain and strong winds caused a tree to fall on a shed inside a temple premise, in Maharashtra’s Akola district, officials familiar with the matter said on Monday. The accident took place on Sunday evening when a large number of people gathered at the Babuji Maharaj Mandir in Paras village for evening prayers, police said.

Rescue operation is underway, in Akola district. (PTI)
Rescue operation is underway, in Akola district. (PTI)

District collector Nima Arora said heavy rainfall combined with gusty winds and hail caused a 150-year-old neem tree to come crashing down on a tin shed under which around 50 devotees were standing during the aarti. The shed in turn collapsed on the devotees, killing three people on the spot while four other died during treatment, she added.

A huge crowd of local residents, along with Balapur inspector Anil Jumle, rushed to the spot and started the rescue operations. Among those rescued, 29 people are currently undergoing treatment at the Akola general hospital and Balapur government hospital, and five of them are said to be in critical condition, officials familiar with the matter said.

Also read: Indore temple mishap: Victims’ families allege delay in rescue op

The deceased have been identified as Uma Kharode (50), Parvatibai Sushir (55), Atul Asare (35), Murlidhar Umbarkhane (55) and Bhashkar Ambulkar (55), while the other two men are yet to be identified.

Chief minister Eknath Shinde expressed grief over the incident, and announced an ex gratia compensation of 4 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased while stating that the state government would bear expenses for treatment of the injured.

Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, offered his condolences. “I pay my humble respects to them. We are constantly in touch with the district administration in this regard,” he said, adding that he has ordered an investigation into the incident.

The government, he said, has also ordered a spot inspection of the losses due to the unseasonal rains in parts of the state. ”We have received a primary estimation of the losses and final estimation is under process,” he added.

District collector Arora and the superintendent of police, Sandeep Ghuge, immediately visited the spot and are coordinating to ensure timely treatment of the injured. One of the injured, Diwakar Ingle (55), said he used to visit the temple every Sunday. “Similarly, I went to the temple for aarti on Sunday...everything happened all of a sudden but the local residents helped us a lot. ”

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