Madhya Pradesh well tragedy: Three bodies retrieved, at least 11 villagers still trapped


By Express News Service

BHOPAL: A day after a crowd of villagers plunged into a well while attempting to rescue a 14-year-old boy in Lal Pathar village in Ganj Basoda area of Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha district, at least three bodies have so far been retrieved by rescue teams.

While 15 villagers were rescued on Thursday evening, residents of the village have told the authorities that at least 11 more villagers including a 10-year-old and 15-year-old boy are still missing and could be in the well.

The mishap happened at around 7.30 pm on Thursday in Lal Pathar village (around 110 km from Bhopal), when the villagers had crowded around the 50 ft deep well (with water level of about 20 ft) to rescue a 14-year-old boy. But suddenly under the monstrous weight of the crowd, a portion of the well’s parapet wall caved in, resulting in the plunging of the crowd into the well.

“15 people were rescued alive on Thursday evening and are now fine, while three bodies were retrieved on Friday morning. According to the villagers, around 11 people from the village are still missing, but the number of missing people might well be between 11-13,” the MP director general of police (DGP) Vivek Johri told journalists in Bhopal on Friday.

According to Vidisha district police superintendent Vinayak Verma, teams led by NDRF personnel have been engaged in rescue operations on a war footing since Thursday evening.

The state’s medical education minister Vishvas Sarang, who is also the minister in charge for Vidisha district, is camping in the concerned village since Thursday night.

“Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced Rs 5 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured. Rescue operations are going on and anything about how many more people could be trapped inside the well under the debris of the collapsed parapet cannot be told right now,” Sarang told journalists at Lal Pathar village.

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