Minutes before strong winds uprooted the tent at a religious gathering in Rajasthan’s Barmer on Sunday, the man leading the ‘Ram Katha’ stopped the discourse midway and asked people to move out of the tent to safety. At least 14 people were killed and around 50 others injured when the tent collapsed due to heavy rain and thunderstorm.
Murlidhar Maharaj was leading the Ram Katha, which was being recorded live, at a school ground near the near the Rani Bhatiyani temple in Barmer district’s Jasol village, around 500 km from Jaipur.
“The winds are strong. We will have to stop the Katha,” he said pointing to the strong winds hitting against the tent. “The tent is flying. Please leave the area”, he said as the winds grew stronger.
Murlidhar Maharaj could be seen rushing out, followed by several others. A stampede-like situation followed, according to those present at the spot.
Many were trapped under the tent when it finally collapsed. Those injured have been taken to hospitals nearby where the condition of several of them remains critical.
According to sources, some of the people trapped some may have been electrocuted due to the generators at the venue. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ordered a probe into the incident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences. “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,” he said. He was followed by Home Minister Amit Shah and former state chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
The event, organised by Rani Bhatiyani temple, started on Saturday and was to continue till June 30.
"Get Out, It’s Falling": Rajasthan Tent Collapse Caught On Video – NDTV News