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Four killed in mishap at Temple Festival

Written by: Staff

Theni, Tamil Nadu, May 12 (UNI) Four people were killed and 28 others injured when a giant wheel, put up for entertainment at the famed week-long Mariamman temple festival collapsed at Veerapandi in the district late last night, police today said.

Three of the victims, including an eight-year-old girl, who were hurled from the giant wheel, died on the spot. The other person, the girl's father, succumbed to injuries in the hospital.

The deceased were identified as M Riyaz (21) of Madurai, R Priya (8) and her father Rajendran of nearby Singarajapuram. The fourth, a man aged around 40, is yet to be identified.

A search has been launched for the proprietor of the giant wheel, Md Aslam, hailing from North India, who absconded after the mishap.

Barring use in circus and magic shows, the administration has banned giant wheels after the incident.

Devotees and visitors from adjoining Madurai and Dindigul districts used to flock to the temple on the occasion. It has entered the popular imagination through oral and folk narratives.

The festival, highly popular in nearby districts, continues to attract nearly 50,000 to 60,000 people every day and police have made elaborate security arrangements.


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