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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

4 killed in Kancheepuram temple stampede

Officials said around 1.7 lakh devotees had gathered at the temple to pay obeisance to Athivaradar, a deity that is taken out of the shrine’s pond once every 40 years, when the stampede happened.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2019 00:54 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
The four were identified as Narayani, 40, Natarajan, 50, Ganga Lakshmi, 50, and Anandavel, 47.
The four were identified as Narayani, 40, Natarajan, 50, Ganga Lakshmi, 50, and Anandavel, 47.(HT Photo)
         

At least four people died in a stampede on Thursday at Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple in Tamil Nadu’s Kancheepuram.

Officials said around 1.7 lakh devotees had gathered at the temple to pay obeisance to Athivaradar, a deity that is taken out of the shrine’s pond once every 40 years, when the stampede happened.

The four were identified as Narayani, 40, Natarajan, 50, Ganga Lakshmi, 50, and Anandavel, 47.

Police said Narayani and Natarajan were from Avadi and Triplicance in Chennai. Lakshmi hailed from Guntur in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Anandavel from Salem in Tamil Nadu.

Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M K Stalin hit out at the Tamil Nadu government over the poor arrangements for devotees and blamed it for the tragedy.

“Though lakhs of people are visiting Athivaradar festival, proper crowd management initiatives have not been done at the Kancheepuram temple,” Stalin said.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said higher than expected footfall led to the stampede.

“...One lakh to 1.25 lakh people on an average are visiting Athivaradar fest here daily. On Thursday, about 1.7 lakh people visited the temple. This led to this incident even as the government had made every effort to ensure that the crowd is managed properly,” said Palaniswami.

He announced Rs one lakh compensation each to the families of the four.

First Published: Jul 19, 2019 00:04 IST

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