In a shocking incident on Sunday, 25 people, most of them attending a funeral, were killed and 17 others were injured when the roof of a shelter at a cremation ground in Uttar Pradesh's Muradnagar collapsed. According to officials, several people had taken shelter under the recently constructed structure while it rained. The dead, all of them men, were mostly relatives or neighbours of a man named Jai Ram who was being cremated at that time.
Rescue workers sifted through the building's rubble for hours to ensure that more victims were not trapped there. The local people were the first to arrive at the cremation ground in Muradnagar's Ukhlarsi village in Ghaziabad district. Police followed by a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) unit also then reached the spot, pulling out the dead and the injured from the debris.
"As many as 24 people have died and 17 others have been injured in the incident," District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey told news agency PTI on Sunday. The number of dead has since risen to 25.
In the evening, contractor Ajay Tyagi, executive officer of the municipality Niharika Singh, junior engineer Chandra Pal and supervisor Ashis were booked under relevant sections of the IPC, including 304 (causing death by negligence) on the complaint of a deceased's son at the Muradnagar police station.
Meanwhile, according to sources, a family that lost its three members is blocking the Ghaziabad -Meerut road. The family is demanding the DM to visit them and is seeking a government job for one member of the family for their survival, they added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the deaths. Yogi Adityanath announced Rs 2 lakh as financial relief for the families of each man killed. The CM also directed Meerut's Divisional Commissioner and Additional Director General of the police zone to submit a report on the incident.
उत्तर प्रदेश के मुरादनगर में हुए दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण हादसे की खबर से अत्यंत दुख पहुंचा है। राज्य सरकार राहत और बचाव कार्य में तत्परता से जुटी है। इस दुर्घटना में जान गंवाने वालों के परिजनों के प्रति संवेदना प्रकट करता हूं, साथ ही घायलों के शीघ्र स्वस्थ होने की कामना करता हूं।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 3, 2021
जनपद गाजियाबाद के मुरादनगर में हुई दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण घटना के संबंध में... pic.twitter.com/iCcu4PR3zx— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) January 3, 2021
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Monday demanded a proper investigation in the Muradnagar incident. Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said, "Uttar Pradesh government should investigate this incident properly, timely and ensure strict punishment to its culprits. Do not save anyone and they must also provide appropriate financial help to the victims' families, this is the demand of BSP."
1.यू.पी. के जिला गाजियाबाद, मुरादनगर में स्थित श्मशान घाट की छत गिरने से लगभग दो दर्जन लोगों की हुई मौत अति दर्दनाक व कष्टदायक। पीड़ित परिवार के प्रति अति संवेदना व कुदरत इन्हें इस दुःख को सहन करने की शक्ति दे। 1/2— Mayawati (@Mayawati) January 4, 2021
2. साथ ही, यू.पी. सरकार इस घटना की सही व समय से जाँच कराके इसके दोषियों को सख्त सजा जरूर दिलाये अर्थात् किसी को भी ना बचाये तथा पीड़ित परिवार को उचित आर्थिक मदद भी जरूर करे, बी.एस.पी की यह माँग। 2/2— Mayawati (@Mayawati) January 4, 2021
(With agency inputs)