DHARMAPURI: Two persons died and 10 others suffered injuries when the chariot of a temple at Mathehalli in Papparapatti crashed on the devotees during a procession on Monday.
Every year, in the Tamil month of Vaigasi, the Mathehalli temple organises a festival for Goddess Kali. The chariot procession was taken out ahead of the main festival that is set to begin on Tuesday. The procession would cross 18 villages. On Monday, nearly 800 devotees participated in the procession and pulled the chariot.
Papparapatti police said that the wheels of the 40-ft-high chariot collapsed when it was being pulled through a narrow road close to a cultivable land and the chariot crashed on the devotees. M Manoharan (57) of Papparapatti and K Saravanan (50) of Mathehalli died on the spot.
Police stated that all the injured were admitted to Dharmapuri medical college hospital. A police officer said they suspect poor maintenance caused the collapse. Dharmapuri SP C Kalaichelvan and RDO Chitra Vijayan are conducting an investigation.
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin expressed condolences and announced solatium of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured persons.