MACHILIPATNAM: The Prasanna Anjaneya Swamy temple at Vantena Centre in Avanigadda of Krishna district collapsed in the wee hours of Tuesday. However, there were no casualties reported.
Blaming contractor of the Krishna Canal modernisation works for the collapse of the temple, devotees turned out in large numbers to stage a rasta roko near the temple and withdrew their agitation only after Avanigadda SI D Venkata Kumar spoke to the contractor and informed them that he had agreed to construct a new temple.
According to some homeless people who used to sleep on the temple premises, around 3:30 a.m. they heard strange noises from the temple walls and the floor. When the ground beneath them started trembling, they rushed out. Within one hour, the structure caved in.
They said they were lucky that the incident happened in the early hours and if it had happened a few hours later, it would have been disastrous, as more number of devotees turn up at the temple on Tuesdays.
Indications of danger to the temple were evident when a big peepal tree near it collapsed some 20 days ago. Temple trustee Appikatla Somulu said as a part of Krishna delta modernisation works, trenches were dug up along both sides of the canal on whose banks the temple was located.
After constructing the retaining wall for the canal, the dug-up trenches were not closed and the water seeping into them had weakened the ground beneath the temple. When the water was released into canal on Monday, the ground beneath the temple weakened further and it collapsed.