Chennai, Dec 25 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin in a statement announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakhs to the Sabarimala pilgrims from Andipetti, Theni district of the state who died after their vehicle fell into a deep gorge while maneuvering a hairpin bend. The accident occurred in the wee hours of Saturday.
Eight people died in the mishap while 2 are admitted in the Theni district hospital with serious injuries. The Chief Minister also announced Rs 50,000 to the two injured persons.
The deceased are Muniyandi (55), Devadas( 56), Kanniswamy (56), Nagaraj(46). Vinod (47), Kalaiselvan (45), Sivakumar(47) and driver of the vehicle, Gopalakrishnan(42). Those who escaped with grevious injuries are Raja (41) and his 7 year old son.
A senior police officer told IANS that the vehicle was at a high speed and the driver was not able to control the vehicle at the hairpin bend leading to it losing the control and falling down into the gorge taking the lives of eight people.
Tamil Nadu minister for cooperation, I. Periyaswami was deputed to the accident area for conducting rescue operations and support the families of those who met with the accident.
It may be noted that ten pilgrims from Andipetti, Theni district of Tamil Nadu were returning back home when their vehicle fell into a deep gorge while driving through a hairpin bend at Kumali in the Kerala border. All eight died on the spot while the two injured were thrown off from the vehicle and fell into the grass area. However, the two including a child are grievously injured and undergoing treatment at Theni government hospital.
Sabarimala, the hill shrine in Kerala is open for the season and a heavy rush is witnessed at the temple for the past few days. After a two-year lull of temple having a very low percentage of pilgrims visiting the shrine due to the Covid pandemic, this year has seen a huge number of pilgrims from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Andhra, and Puducherry visiting the temple which is in the top of a hill.
According to Kerala police which is manning the heavy rush at the temple, more than a lakh people are visiting the hill shrine every day leading to a queue of more than 10 to 12 hours for each pilgrim to get a glimpse of Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple.