Wall collapse at Indian wedding kills dozens

A 12-foot-high wall at a wedding venue in India collapsed in heavy winds, killing 24 people and injuring dozens others, local police said.

People gather Thursday near the debris of a building where at least 24 people were killed when a wall collapsed at a wedding the night before in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, India. An additional 30 people were also injured when the concrete wall fell on people taking shelter from a storm during the event. Photo by Vishal Bhatnagar/EPA
People gather Thursday near the debris of a building where at least 24 people were killed when a wall collapsed at a wedding the night before in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, India. An additional 30 people were also injured when the concrete wall fell on people taking shelter from a storm during the event. Photo by Vishal Bhatnagar/EPA

Wind and heavy rain from a storm preceded the collapse, which happened Wednesday just as guests at a wedding began to eat, authorities said.

“The rain and some hail stones led people to seek shelter near the wall,” witness Rampal Singh told Indian Express. “The wall, we later realized, was faulty and had not been constructed properly. It was also supporting a tent that got weighed down in the rain. The wall collapsed, it was all over in a few minutes.”
Anil Tank, superintendent of police in Bharatpur, India, confirmed to CNN the 90-foot-long wall had been built using substandard materials and outside of standard regulations. The venue was built less than a year ago.

The venue also lost power so rescuers were unable to use tools to remove the bodies and free the injured from the site.

“We recovered 24 bodies from the debris, including 11 women and four children,” Tank said.

Tank said the owner of what Indian Express described as the “marriage home” was arrested for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. All marriage homes would also be inspected for safety in the wake of the collapse.

By Danielle Haynes