Vikash Sharma

In a tragic incident, at least seven devotees were killed after a huge tree fell on them following heavy rainfall in Maharashtra's Akola district on Sunday evening.

As per initial reports, the incident took place when a religious ceremony was being organised in front of a temple. The religious event was being organised at Babuji Maharaj Mandir. Following heavy rainfall, the devotees rushed to a tin shed to seek shelter.

Sources said a huge tree fell on the shed under the impact of heavy rainfall accompanied with gusty winds. As many as 12 people got trapped under the tree. While seven persons were killed on the spot, five others were rescued and rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

A massive operation was launched to rescue the trapped persons from under the trees.

“There was a shed where the devotees had taken shelter. Suddenly a huge tree fell on them, killing at least seven persons. As many as 12 persons got trapped under the trees. Five persons are undergoing treatment at the hospital,” said Anil Jumle, a senior police official.

As per Jumble, the tree was about 100 to 150 years old and it got uprooted under the impact of strong winds and heavy rainfall.

"The government will provide financial assistance to the families of the deceased and the injured will be provided medical treatment free of cost. I have ordered an investigation into the incident," said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

(Reported by Suresh Das)