11 people including 2 children electrocuted during religious ceremony

Eleven people including two children are electrocuted during religious procession as Indian temple chariot touches high voltage cable

  • Two children among 11 dead after wooden chariot decorations hit overhead wire
  • While adjusting Hindu procession piece, the chariot was raised and struck cable
  • Death toll could rise as more than a dozen injured including some critical: police
  • Many more were spared when they moved away from a nearby puddle, cops add
  • Politicians announce 700,000 rupee (£7,000) compensation for victims’ families

Eleven people including two children were electrocuted when a decorative wooden chariot came into contact with an overhead high-voltage cable.

Ten worshippers were killed instantly and a 13-year-old died in hospital during the Hindu procession in Tamil Nadu, southern India at around 2.45am today.

The wooden temple chariot used in the ceremony for Saint Appar had been below regulation height needed to turn off the power, local officials said.

But when a generator hit a snag round a corner and the chariot was lifted to adjust it, its metal fixtures touched the transmission wire.

The charred remains of the decorative procession piece were left in the street this morning

The 30-foot procession piece was covered in metal decorations and light bulbs. 

A senior policeman told NDTV: ‘It seems that decorations on it increased its height and it came into contact with the live wire.’

Shockwaves killed eleven festivalgoers and injured 15 more, with some in critical condition at Thanjavur Medical College Hospital.

Eyewitnesses said dozens more stepped away from a puddle in the moments before electrocution and spared their lives, the BBC reported.

 Crowds were pictured at the site of tragedy hours after the appalling incident around 2.45am

The wheeled, 30-foot long procession piece was covered in metal fixtures and light bulbs

Graphic images show distraught family members crying next to slain villagers.

Other pictures show the mauled wooden chariot left in the street overnight while emergency services rushed people to hospital.

The procession had been on its way back to the temple as the night-long vigil ended.

The 13-year-old boy, named as Bharanitharan, died at around 7am. It’s not known how old the other child electrocuted was.

Ten died on the spot as the elaborate decoration struck an overhead high-transmission cable

A generator used to power the fixture’s light bulbs hit a snag, forcing villagers to lift it up

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will meet with bereaved families later today. 

Regional chief minister MK Stalin (pictured in 2021) announced bereaving family payou

He announced compensation of 500,000 rupees (£5,185) will be given to victims’ next of kin. The regional assembly also observed a two-minute silence this morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indian government will offer a further 200,000 rupees (£2,000) via the national relief fund.

Injured victims will receive 50,000 (£500).

Modi tweeted: ‘Deeply pained by the mishap in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

‘My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. I hope those injured recover soon.’

Local ruling party the AIADMK promised a further 100,000 rupees (£1,000) to victims’ families and 25,000 rupees (£250) to the injured.

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