At least seven died on the spot after the chariot of the Appar Madam temple in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur hit the high-tension wires early on Wednesday.
Chennai: At least 11 persons died and 15 others were injured after a temple chariot came in contact with overhead high-voltage cable during a procession in Kalimedu near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday early morning. The police also informed that two among the deceased were children.
Officials said, “The chariot of the Appar Madam temple in Kalimedu faced some obstacle while taking a turn and came in contact with the overhead line.”
While seven of the 11 died on the spot, the rest succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment at a hospital. The police said at least four of the injured are in a serious condition.
Thousands of devotees take part in the annual chariot festival in Tamil Nadu every year. V Balakrishnan, Inspector General of Police, Central Zone, Tiruchirappalli said, “A case has been registered in the matter and an investigation is underway.”
Meanwhile, a senior police officer on condition of anonymity said, “Usually the power lines on the routes of the processions are turned off and in this case, the chariot was not tall enough to touch the high-voltage transmission line so the power supply was not turned off. However, it seems that the decorative structure increased the height of the chariot and thus it came in contact with the live wire.”
Meanwhile, the official Twitter handle of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said, “Deeply pained by the mishap in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. I hope those injured recover soon: PM @narendramodi.”
In another tweet, the PMO said, “Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the mishap in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000: PM @narendramodi”
President Ram Nath Kovind also took to Twitter and expressed his grief. He wrote, “The loss of life, including that of children, due to electrocution in a procession in Thanjavur is a tragedy beyond words. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin also expressed his condolences and announced a compensation of Rs five lakh each to the families of those who were killed in the accident.