UP Crematorium Roof Collapse: Death Toll at 25, Officials Booked

Several people who were rescued have been admitted to the hospital for treatment.

2 min read

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

At least 25 people were killed and 20 others were injured after a roof collapsed at a cremation ground in Muradnagar near Delhi on Sunday, 3 January.

The police have lodged an FIR against the contractor and officials of the Municipal Corporation of Muradnagar under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), officials told IANS.

Three municipal officials -- Muradnagar Nagar Palika Executive Officer Niharika Singh, junior engineer Chandra Pal and supervisor Ashish -- have been arrested by the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district, Scroll. in reported.

How Did the Incident Take Place?

The incident was reported in the morning when around 50 people, who came for the last rites of a fruit-seller, took shelter under the roof of a recently-built corridor to save themselves from getting drenched. However, minutes later, the roof of the structure collapsed.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were called to join the police and district administration for the operation to rescue those trapped under the debris as well as extricate the bodies of the deceased victims.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath Announces Relief, Probe

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured in the accident.

“I’ve instructed district officials to conduct relief operations and submit a report of incident. All possible help will be provided to those affected by the incident,” he said.

After directions from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, an investigation into the matter, under the supervision of the Meerut Divisional Commissioner and the Inspector General of Police is underway. The officials of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) and Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) are also assisting them.

An FIR has been lodged against contractor Ajay Tyagi, engineer Niharika Singh, junior engineer Chandra Pal, supervisor Ashish, and an unnamed official of the corporation involved in the construction, under Sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees).

The Negligence?

The work order from Muradnagar Municipal Corporation, issued on 4 February 2019 to Tyagi, mentioned the structure as beautification work of the crematorium, IANS reported.

While the deadline to finish the construction stated in the order was 60 days from the date of commission of the contract, Muradnagar MLA Ajit Tyagi said that it was completed just a couple of months ago.

"The waiting area was built only a couple of months back. It is a big question on the quality of the material used in the construction as a single downpour washed away the whole structure. Those guilty of laxity would not be spared," he said.

The locals present on the spot also raised concerns over the material used in the construction. They said the rubble showed that very little cement was used in construction, as reported by IANS.

While rescue operations are still underway, several people are admitted to hospital for treatment.

PM Modi, President Tweet Condolences

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted their condolences.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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