24 killed as wall collapses on India wedding hall

Indian police personnel are watched by bystanders while they use a measuring tape as they survey the wreckage of a hall in Bharatpur on May 11, 2017, after an accident at a wedding party in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.


NEW DELHI -- A building wall collapsed onto guests at a wedding in western India, killing at least 24 people and injuring others, a government official said Thursday.

The hundreds of guests were having dinner or assembling on the outdoor lawns when a strong dust storm blew into the area Wednesday night, forcing people on the lawns to go indoors. When the 80-feet-long wall fell, it trapped people inside the wedding hall and a covered shed built along the wall outside, Bharatpur District Magistrate N.K. Gupta told reporters.

Another 28 people were injured and have been hospitalized, police officer Anil Tank told Press Trust of India.

Police registered a case of culpable homicide against the building owner and were questioning him, Tank said

A power outage hampered rescue work. It wasn't clear if the dust storm was a factor in the collapse.

The district is in Rajasthan state nearly 125 miles south of New Delhi.

Building collapses are common in India, where high demand for housing and lax regulations have encouraged some builders to cut corners, use substandard materials or add unauthorized extra floors.

In 2013, a building being constructed illegally in Mumbai caved in, killing 74 people in the country's worst building collapse in decades.