Death toll in India wall collapse rises to 26

NEW DELHI (Xinhua) — The death toll in a wall collapse of a marriage hall during a wedding ceremony in India’s western state of Rajasthan has risen to 26, police said Thursday.

The wall collapsed late Wednesday night at Bharatpur district, around 186 km east of Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan.

According to locals, a heavy storm hit the area Wednesday night, which led to the collapse of the wall.

“Last night, a wall collapsed at a marriage hall here, killing 26 people and injuring 28 others,” a senior police official told Xinhua over telephone. “All the injured have been taken to hospital and bodies have been kept in mortuary and will be handed over to their families later on.”

Eyewitnesses said the people attending the marriage were eating food in the open air when the 90-feet-long (28-meter-long) wall with a hight of 13 feet (4 meters) collapsed on them.

Police said several food stalls were set up close to the wall.Inspector General of Police Alok Vashishtha told media the entire structure of the wall and the shed collapsed and those who had taken shelter got trapped.

The incident triggered panic among the people present during the marriage ceremony.

Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje has condoled the deaths and instructed health officials to extend all possible help to the injured.The local government has also announced monetary compensation for the deceased.

Deadly accidents due to failing infrastructure are common in India.

Construction experts blame the lax administration and corruption in India for flouting building rules that often results in using poor quality materials, inadequate supervision, poor safety standards for workers.