TIRUVANNAMALAI: A pall of gloom descended on Arni town in Tiruvannamalai district following the tragic incident, in which five people were killed and eight others injured after a temple car overturned during a procession on Tuesday.
The seventh day of the ten-day annual temple festival of Arulmighu Aramvalar Nayaki Odannagiya Kailashanathar Temple in Arni witnessed the incident when the century-old temple car overturned, crushing five of them instantly.
Sampath, a resident of Arni, who witnessed the death of his only son Sabarish (29), said, “It was agonising to watch my son die in front of my eyes. I was just 50 metres away from the accident spot when I saw my son caught under the temple car.” Sabarish was working with an Italy-based cruise ship. “I held him back from going to work since he was my only son. I wanted him to settle in Arni and get married soon. We were looking for a bride and were also planning to set up a rice mill for him,” said Sampath, who is the treasurer of the temple.
The residents of S V Nagaram from where three of the five deceased — Chengalvarayan (60), his son Ramadoss (36) and Saravanan (36) — hailed were filled with despair. Jawahar (36) of Arni was another person killed. Chengalvarayan and his son Ramadoss were crushed to death in the incident. Gowri, wife of Ramadoss and mother of two children, lost the two breadwinners of the family. The father and son, who were carpenters balanced the 36-foot high wooden temple car. “The festival has been stopped and the temple has been closed. After purification rituals, we will decide what to do next,” said an authority of temple.