CHENNAI: Three people, including two women, died while waiting in the queue to have 'darshan' of deity Athi Varadar in Varatharaja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram allegedly due to suffocation on Thursday afternoon.
According to initial reports, six people standing in the queue for a long time fainted and were taken to the Chengalpattu government hospital.
Later at around 3.30 pm, they were rushed to the Kancheepuram government hospital where they died after not responding to treatment, said the police sources. The deceased were identified as Anandan (56) from Salem, Jayanthi (62) from Avadi and Narayani (65) from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.
The Kancheepuram district administration and senior police officers denied that the deaths were due to suffocation and claimed that they died of prolonged illness and cardiac arrest.
Since Thursday is an important day of the 40 days worship at Athi Varadar temple, people started arriving to the temple since the previous night and the queue stretched for over five kilometers. The public had alleged that there is no proper facility for the elderly who wait under the hot sun. It can be noted that on July 3, two men died allegedly due to the highhandedness of the police.