Barmer: The number of people killed in a mishap during Rama Katha at Balotra in Barmer district of Rajasthan on Sunday has risen to 15. At the same time, 70 people are injured.
According to the eyewitnesses, Ram Katha Pandal (Dome) flew up to 20 feet above in the storm, then dropped down. After this electric current started flowing in the iron pipes, which resulted in the maximum loss. At that time the wind speed was 80 to 100 km per hour. Within a one-and-half minute, the entire pandal was destroyed. No one got the chance to escape.
Pandal’s foundation was weak
People have alleged that pandal’s foundation was very weak. It stood on the foundation of just two feet. About 800 people were present in the pandal during the Ram Katha. As soon as the pandal fell down after the storm, the iron angles fell on the devotees. It caused severe injuries to them. It is being told that two people died after the iron angle hit them.
4 factors that led to more loss
Ram Katha continued despite the storm
The Ram Katha began at 2 pm but continued even after the rain and thunderstorm began at 3.14 pm. The water started leaking into the pandal. At 3.28 pm, suddenly a storm lifted the pandal collapsed.
Power connection was snapped but generators were automatically switched on
Electric current started flowing in the iron pipes after the pandal collapsed. Then the power was cut off. But there were two generators there, they were automatically switched on and power supply resumed resulting in more deaths due to electrocution. Meanwhile, Power Department Officer Sonaram Chaudhary told that no electricity connection had been taken for the programme.
Administration had made no arrangements
Murlidhar Maharaj is the famous narrative of Marwar. The people attend his programmes in large numbers. Regardless of this, the administration did not take stock of the security preparedness about such an event.
No space was left for air to pass
No space had been left in the pandal to let the air pass. This was the reason that the stormy winds filled in the pandal. Tornado lifted the pandal upwards. Dome’s foundation was weak. It was lifted easily.
Dependents of the deceased to get Rs 5 lakhs
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot held an emergency meeting on Sunday night after the mishap. Gehlot has handed over the investigation to Jodhpur Divisional Commissioner BL Kothari. Also, Rs. 5 lakh each to the dependents of the deceased and Rs. 2 lakh each to the injured would be given.