CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday constituted a one-man committee to inquire into the Kalimedu accident.
Revenue Secretary Kumar Jayant would inquire into the accident in which 11 persons were killed and left several injured, minister for electricity V Senthil Balaji informed the State Assembly while replying to a discussion on the issue during the zero hour.
As many as 11 persons including three children were electrocuted and 13 others injured when the temple car they were accompanying touched the overhead power line at Kalimedu village near Thanjavur during the early hours of Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister moved a resolution condoling the death of 11 persons in the accident and the House observed silence as a tribute to the departed souls. The chief minister said to monitor the relief works at Kalimedu, school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi and senior officials of the government have rushed to the accident spot.
At present, 16 persons who have suffered injuries in the electrocution incident are being treated at Thanjavur Medical College Hospital. He said Rs five lakh each would be immediately given to the bereaved families.
During the discussion on this issue, the leader of the opposition, Edappadi K Palaniswami said that had the authorities taken precautionary measures for such procession of a temple car, this accident could have been averted. Recently, at the Madurai Chithirai festival, two persons died of a stampede and HR and CE minister PK Sekar Babu had promised that steps would be taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future. Despite his assurance, another ghastly accident had taken place due to the failure of the government to take precautionary steps. After this, led by Palaniswami party MLAs staged a walk-out.
After some time, the AIADMK MLAs returned to the House and demanded that the remarks made by Congress floor leader K Selvaperunthagai about the accident that took place when former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa took part in the Mahamaham festival at Kumbakonam should be expunged. The Speaker said he would be given an opportunity to express views after a couple of other members complete their speeches.
In the meantime, the HR and CE minister accused the AIADMK of playing politics even as innocent lives are fighting for life in hospital after the Kalimedu accident. Following this, Palaniswami and his party colleagues squatted in front of the well of the Speaker's podium and raised slogans. After a few warnings, the Speaker ordered their eviction.