Railings collapse in temple; consecration cancelled

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Chennai, Apr 22 (UNI) It proved to be an inauspicious start for the Oneness UniverCity, housing a golden temple, at Varadapalayam near Tada, bordering Andhra Pradesh, as the railings in the temple collapsed, today.

Temple sources told UNI that the temporary railings put up at the first and second floor of the temple collapsed during the consecration ceremony following the unprecedented rush of pilgrims.

Several people were trapped under the collapsed railings, while several others fainted because of the scorching heat. However, there was no casualty. The exact number of people injured was also not known immediately.

The sources said over 6.5 lakh people thronged the temple, in a sprawling 43-acre area, on the opening day today, resulting in utter chaos.

''We expected about 15 lakh pilgrims for the week-long consecration ceremony. But, unexpectedly, the turnout was huge and the crowd became uncontrollable, leading to the mishap,'' they added.

Considering the safety of devotees and the heavy rush, the week-long ceremony was cancelled, they said.

The temple and the UniverCity were promoted by Oneness, a spiritual organisation focussing on enlightenment and relieving each human being from internal sufferings.

Special trains were run from various parts of the country in view of the consecration ceremony.

UNI GV GD SY AS2008

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