People on the side iron bars of the tent before it collapsed. Photo courtesy: BJP.
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Midnapore: As many as 24 people are hospitalised after a tent collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at College Ground in Midnapore town this afternoon. The condition of seven of the injured is grievous.

The mishap took place around 1 pm, a little after the PM started his speech at the BJP’s Kishan Kalyan Rally. Notwithstanding the heavy rain in phases, the entire venue was swelling with a huge crowd of BJP supporters to hear the PM.

BJP had raised five tents ~ one marquee tent and three arched tents ~ housing the dais and the audience. With the crowd swelling, several youths and men hopped onto the side iron structures of the arched tents so to catch a better view of the PM.

The rains had already loosened the soil on which the poles of the tents were standing. A load of people on the side iron structures added to this, and a portion of an arched tent caved in even as the PM was speaking.

Several people came under the collapsed tent which roof structure was made of iron fabrication and tarpaulin spread over it to shield from rain and sun. The people started running helter-skelter for life and in the process some 24 suffered injuries.

The PM stopped his speech for about three minutes and instructed a special protection group personnel standing behind him to arrange for the hospitalisation of those injured. When he resumed his speech, the PM thanked the audience for not fleeing the venue and showing discipline in ensuring fast transfer of the injured to the hospital.

Prime Minister obliges request for an autograph by a girl who was injured in the tent collapse at his rally. At Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.

The injured were taken to the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital by BJP workers and the security personnel. On his way back to Kalaikunda airbase to take a helicopter back to Delhi, the PM stopped by at the Hospital and paid a visit to the injured. He spoke to the injured and the doctors.

An injured girl, whom the PM visited, requested his autograph even as she was being administered a saline. The PM obliged her and praised for her solid mental strength in the period of crisis.

On getting to know of the incident, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted assuring all medical assistance to the injured.

“We pray for the speedy recovery of all those injured at the Midnapore rally today. The government is giving all help for medical treatment,” Mamata wrote on her Twitter handle,” she wrote.

West Midnapore superintendent of police Alok Rajoria has said that police will register an FIR against the organisers for the mishap at PM’s rally.