At least 36 people have died and many more are missing after a temple collapsed in Indore, central India.
A floor that was covering a stepwell suddenly gave way, plunging terrified worshippers into a well.
Images from the scene in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, show bodies floating in muddy water, a senior police officer said.
A spokesperson for a local hospital said 21 of the victims had been brought to them, of which three had died. Most of those receiving treatment had limb injuries and fractures.
A Times of India report said that most of those involved in the incident were women and children.
The army has arrived to scour the devastating scene for survivors.
Armed forces personnel were using generator-powered floodlights to search for those missing, with local reports claiming at least 24 people were unaccounted for including a one-and-a-half year-old baby.
Around 50 worshippers marking the Hindu festival of Ram Navami had gathered at the Shri Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple when the tragedy occurred.
The floor that gave way above the stepwell reportedly consisted of tiles over a metal grille, with approximately 25ft of water below.
Police cordoned off the area as distraught loved ones of those affected gathered at the scene.
A National Disaster Response Force rescuer said: ‘We found a lot of water, so it was difficult to pull people out. We used ropes, ladders, but finally had to dive with oxygen cylinders.’
An investigation had been launched into the tragedy and the families of the dead people would be compensated, Narottam Mishra, the home minister of Madhya Pradesh state said.
Police told news agencies on Friday that 36 bodies had been recovered and 17 people were rescued on Thursday.
‘At night, when no more bodies could be seen, divers entered the well and used cameras to look in the muddy water,’ they said.
‘The images they sent back were spine-chilling.’
The State Government is spearheading rescue and relief work at a quick pace.
‘I saw some people falling with their hands still folded in prayer, looking bewildered,’ said an eyewitness who survived because she was standing in a corner.