At least 13 people were killed and 10 others were injured in a tragic accident that happened during a wedding ceremony in India’s Uttar Pradesh.

According to local media reports, eight women and five girls died after falling into a well on Wednesday, Feb. 16, night. The tragedy reportedly occurred in the Nebua Naurangia village in the Kushinagar district, where the pre-wedding ceremony of "Matkorba" on the occasion of "Haldi" was in progress beside an old well in the village.

The victims, all women and children, were sitting on the iron grille that covered the well when it collapsed beneath their weight, sending all 23 of them down into the deep well.

"Actually, the well is old and it was covered with a slab. During the ritual, the girls were standing on the slab when it broke and they all fell inside the well," the groom's father, Parmeshwar Kushwaha, said.

Although the darkness hampered the rescue work, after hours-long effort, the responding officials and villagers managed to pull all victims out of the well.

"We were singing and dancing when suddenly the slab broke and, within seconds, we all fell into the well. I was drowning in the well, but somehow I was rescued," a woman from the village said.

The victims were rushed to the nearby hospital where doctors declared thirteen of them dead, according to officials.

Ramesh Chaurasia, who lost his wife in the tragedy, alleged that the ambulance responded to the scene several hours after the incident. His brother's wife and their two-year-old daughter were also among the dead.

"I don't know what to do or say as I have lost three family members. My wife died, and I don't know how I'm going to survive. I was not with them, as the program was meant for women. We all tried to save them, and many of the women and girls were rescued by the villagers, but the ambulance was very late, " he said, WION reported.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sorrow over the "heart-wrenching" incident.

"The accident in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh is heart-wrenching. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in this. With this, I wish the injured a speedy recovery. The local administration is involved in all possible help," the prime minister’s Tweet in Hindi translates.

The district administration has announced an ex gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh ($5356 approx.) each to the next of kin of the deceased.

"It is heartbreaking and I have decided that no procession will go with my son for the wedding. Only the groom will go and get married in a very simple manner as we are not in the state to celebrate," the groom’s father added.

A woman reportedly killed herself by jumping into a well after seeing the dead body of her son in Palghar district, Maharashtra, India on Thursday, Sept. 1. This is a representational image. PIXABAY

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