RAICHUR: In a ghastly incident, five people, including a woman, died and three others were seriously injured after a newly built water tank burst and collapsed at Yapaladinni village, near here on Saturday morning.
All the deceased and injured were in the village bordering Telangana to take part in the five-day annual Urs at the Janglisab Dargah, which started on Friday.
Every year, thousands of Hindus and Muslims, from both Karnataka and Telangana, congregate at the village to take part in the Urs.
Eyewitnesses said that the water tank with a capacity of 1.60 lakh litres was built on a ground near the Dargha a fortnight ago to provide water to the devotees.
It was fitted with around 30 taps to collect water. “A number of people, including women and children, were taking bath or washing clothes next to the tank when it burst. Many of were caught under the debris and died,” they said.
The authorities used JCBs to clear the debris and remove the deceased and injured. The deceased have been identified as Shahajaan (30) of Yemmiganur, Veeresh (29) and Jogi Poojary Durgappa (55) of Raichur, Jeol Missel (40) and Hussainappa (21) of Mahaboobnagar district. The injured are being treated at the Raichur Institute of Medical Sciences.
The poor quality of construction led to the tragedy, officials said. While the tank was built 16 days ago at a cost of Rs 3.21 lakh, water was stored only since Friday.
After the incident, angry devotees staged a protest demanding action against the contractor and awarding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the deceased.
The police had a tough time controlling the angry crowd, which was pacified by SP M N Nagaraju and other top police officials.
Raichur Rural MLA Thipparaju and senior Congress leaders N. Bore Raju and A Vasanth Kumar visited the spot.
Cases have been booked againt PDO Chennamma, Grama Panchayat President Laxmi Thimmappa, contractor Veeresh Reddy, gram panchayat member Vereseh, junior engineer Niranjan and ZP assistant executive engineer G.N. Prakash. PDO Chennamma and JE Niranjan were suspended by the Deputy Commissioner and incharge CEO Sasikanth Senthil.