TWO pilgrims were killed and seven injured after the ceiling of an old temple collapsed in Ayodhya late Tuesday night. The pilgrims, part of groups that had come from Shravasti, Gonda and neighbouring districts to visit the ‘Shrawan Mela’ in Ayodhya, were sleeping inside the temple.

Police have put up barricades to prevent further entry, locally known as ‘Yadav Mandir’. The structure was in a dilapidated state, they said.

Assistant Superintendent of Police, Faizabad, Sankalp Sharma said the pilgrims were sleeping inside the temple when a portion of the ceiling fell on them. A police team rushed to the place and began the rescue operation. They rushed the injured to the hospital where two of them were declared brought dead.

The deceased were identified as Samsher Bahadur Singh of Shravasti and Ramjas of Gonda district.

SHO, Ayodhya police station, Rajeev Singh said Faizabad Municipal Corporation had issued a notice a few months ago to the priest, asking him to ensure that it was not used further as the building was not in good shape. A complaint against the priest has been filed by executive engineer of the corporation after the incident, he added.