1-year-old suffers burns as granddad falls with her during fire-walk ritual in Tamil Nadu

Based on investigation, police said Rajesh had made a promise to walk on the embers along with his grandchild to pray for her wellbeing.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustration | Amit Bandre)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustration | Amit Bandre)

CHENNAI:  A 14-month-old toddler sustained severe burn injuries after her grandfather, who was carrying her to fulfill a vow, slipped and fell face-down on the embers during a fire-walk ritual at a temple festival late on Sunday.  

Police said the incident happened around 10.30 pm on Sunday at the ritual organised at the Draupathi Amman temple in Uthukottai as part of the temple’s annual festival that started on July 21 with flag hoisting. Rajesh, 50, of Tharatchi village was among the devotees who had vowed to take part in the fire ritual. 

Based on investigation, police said Rajesh had made a promise to walk on the embers along with his grandchild to pray for her wellbeing. “Few seconds into the path filled with hot coal, Rajesh slipped and fell down. He was carrying the toddler in his arms. While Rajesh fell face down the toddler fell on her back,” police said. 

Toddler is out of danger, say doctors

The temple authorities and a few onlookers rushed and pulled the baby out of the embers. Later Rajesh who managed to get on his knees was pulled out. A video of the incident with screams and chaos went viral on social media.

A few people could be seen scolding Rajesh for taking the toddler with him. The grandfather and the child were rushed to Uthukottai Government Hospital. Rajesh was being treated for injuries on his knees, legs, and hands, police said.

The toddler was later moved to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital where she is undergoing treatment for 36% burn injuries. While the doctors said the toddler is out of danger, she is under constant monitoring, police said.

36% burn injuries 
Rajesh, 50, of Tharatchi village, had taken a vow to take part in the fire-walk ritual at Draupathi Amman temple in Uthukottai along with his 14-month-old granddaughter for her wellbeing 

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