At least 20 persons were injured on Monday when a part of the canopy collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in West Bengal's Midnapore town, a BJP leader said.
The injured were rushed to the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital in ambulances in the Prime Minister's convoy and even motorcycles.
According to informed sources, the canopy structure had weakened due to incessant rain since the morning. It collapsed as a section of the enthusiastic audience tried to climb up to have a glimpse of the Prime Minister who had by then begun to speak.
Modi stopped for a few minutes when the structure collapsed to urge the audience to be careful, get off the stage and move to a safer area.
"Those who have climbed up, please get down, all of you... please, climb down. Those standing up there, please get down. Don't run," he said.
The Prime Minister was also seen instructing officials present on the stage to ensure speedy and proper treatment for the injured.
Towards the end of his speech, Modi hailed the audience and said he will remember this incident throughout his life.
"The people of Bengal today showed me what courage means. In spite of constant rain, they gathered here in lakhs and even after a part of the structure collapsed, they showed such discipline to take the injured to the hospital while letting the rally continue. I can't thank you people enough for such positivity," Modi said.
"I come from Gujarat. But I can't think of such courage and discipline. I will never forget this rally in my whole life."
After the rally, Modi visited the injured in the hospital and talked to the doctors treating them.
"Modi ji was at the hospital for five-six minutes. He talked to some of the injured and the doctors and then left for Delhi by a helicopter," a BJP leader said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "We pray for the speedy recovery of those injured at the Midnapore rally. The government is giving all help for their medical treatment."