At least 19 people died 3rd January when the roof of a shelter at a cremation facility in northern India collapsed. The roof at the site, in Uttar Pradesh state’s Ghaziabad district, came down while people were sheltering from the rain. Some 40 people had taken shelter beneath the structure. Many were trapped under the rubble, divisional commissioner Anita C Meshram said.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear, but the authorities plan to investigate the accident.
Meanwhile, area police chief Iraj Raja told news agencies: “The roof at the cremation compound, was over some 30 metres in length, collapsed suddenly and 38 people were trapped. Nineteen people were killed on the scene or while being taken to two hospitals nearby.”
The death toll could increase, as some of the wounded sustained serious injuries, Raja added.
Rescue workers, with sniffer dogs, were going through the rubble to determine if there were more victims, police said..
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind sent their condolences, even as state agencies directed monetary compensation to the victims’ kin.