Ghaziabad: At least 25 people were killed and 20 others injured after the roof of a cemetery corridor collapsed in Muradnagar area here on Sunday morning.
Officials say about 50 mourners were sheltering there from heavy rain after attending a funeral when the roof caved in.
Of the 20 injured, eight are in critical condition and are being treated in different hospitals, Ghaziabad Superintendent of Police Abhishek Verma said .
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) joined the police and district administration to rescue those trapped under the debris.
"The corridor was almost 25 feet long and prima facie it seems it came down because of the heavy downpour," Verma said.
An investigation under the supervision of Meerut Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police is underway.
The officials of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) and Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) are also assisting them.
IANS reports that it has accessed a copy of the work order issued by the Muradnagar Municipal Corporation for the construction of the structure that collapsed.
The work order issued on February 4 said the structure as beautification work of the crematorium, reports IANS.
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.
The state government has announced an ex-gratia sum of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to people injured in the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed grief about the incident.
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.
IANS reports with edits