Thuraiyur, TN, April 21: Seven people were killed and 10 injured in a stampede during a local festival at a temple near Thuraiyur in Tamil Nadu. The incident took place when hundreds of devotees gathered at the Karuppasamy temple in Muthiampalayam village for the ‘padikasu’ (temple coin) distribution ceremony.
Police said the stampede occurred when the priest started distributing the coins and the devotees surged forward to collect them. Seven people, including four women, died on the spot. The injured have been hospitalised.
A temple official said neither there was an effort to control the crowd nor was there enough security personnel to bring the situation under control.
The ceremony, held as part of annual ‘Chithira Pournami’ festival, draws a large number of devotees from in and around the village. Devotees believe keeping the temple coins in their cash box will bring prosperity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident.
"Saddened by the loss of lives due to the stampede at a temple in Thuraiyur, Trichy. My condolences to the families of those who passed away and prayers with the injured. All possible help is being extended by the authorities," PM Modi tweeted.
While Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims, Palaniswami ordered aid of Rs 1 lakh each and Rs 50,000 to the injured.
"An ex- gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who passed away has been approved from the PM’s National Relief Fund. Rs 50,000 each for the injured has also been approved," PM Modi further said.