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13 dead in India after wedding guests fall into well

The victims, who were attending a ceremony in the state of Uttar Pradesh, were sitting on an iron grill covering the well when it gave way.
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Thirteen people, all women and children, have died in northern India after falling into a well during a wedding ceremony, officials said.

The incident in Kushinagar district in the state of Uttar Pradesh occurred Wednesday night during a “haldi” ceremony, a pre-wedding Hindu ritual in which a paste of turmeric is applied on the bride and groom to ward off evil spirits. The victims, who were all guests at the wedding, were sitting on an iron grill covering the well when it gave way under the heavy load.

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A 1-year-old child was among the dead, local police told NBC News on Thursday. One other person was injured and is still hospitalized, they said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed local authorities to assist the victims, describing the incident in a tweet on Thursday as “very sad.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences and wished the injured a speedy recovery. 

Each of the victim’s families will receive more than $5,300 in compensation from district authorities, the chief minister’s office confirmed.