Chennai (PTI): Four people died and at least six were injured when a crane suddenly collapsed during a temple festival in Arakkonam in Ranipet district, late on Sunday night, police said.

The crane was used by the devotees to perambulate around the temple and a few devotees were accepting flower garlands from those who had gathered to fulfill a vow when the incident occurred, police said on Monday.

"The crane collapsed all of a sudden and three people died. Seven persons who were injured were rushed to the government hospital for treatment. And of them, one man succumbed on Monday morning," a senior police official said.

The dead have been identified as S Bhoopalan (40), B Jothibabu (17), K Muthukumar (39) and Chinnasamy (60).

The Mayilerum thiruvizha event at the Droupadiamman and Mandiamman temples at Kezhaveethi, Nemelli, in Arakkonam near here, is an annual ritual held after the harvest festival (Pongal).

In the video of the mishap, which went viral, people were seen screaming and running helter-skelter, as the crane hit the ground. Some of the onlookers who recovered from the shock rushed to the help of the injured and shifted them to hospital with the help of the police.

Nemelli police have detained the crane operator in connection with the accident.


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New Delhi, Feb 6: Jammu and Kashmir has been turned into Afghanistan by the BJP which is using bulldozers to demolish the homes of poor and marginalised under the ongoing anti-encroachment drive, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti alleged Monday.

Addressing a press conference here, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief appealed to Opposition leaders in the country not to be a mute spectator to the "atrocities being committed by the BJP".

She alleged the BJP is using its brute majority to weaponize everything and "bulldoze" the Constitution.

"Palestine is still better. At least people talk. Kashmir is becoming worse than Afghanistan the way bulldozers are being used to demolish homes of people. What is the purpose of demolishing small houses of people," she said.

Mehbooba said that according to the government even the centuries-old Shankaracharya Temple and cantonment built by the erstwhile Maharaja are also on encroached land.

The PDP leader said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha may claim that the houses of poor will not be touched during the anti-encroachment drive but his message is not being heard on the ground as dwellings even with tin sheds are being demolished.

She said the initial call for 'Ek Samvidhan, Ek Vidhan, Ek Pradhan' has given way to 'one country, one language, one religion' where there is no Constitution.

Voice of anyone speaking about the Constitution is being crushed, she said.

"Was removal of Article 370 in accordance with the Constitutional provisions?," she asked.