Kochi, Aug 24: Thomas Mar Athanasios, the metropolitan of the Chengannur Diocese of the Orthodox Syrian Church, passed away early on Friday after he fell from the train he was travelling in Kochi. He was 80.
The accident happened near the Pullepady bridge between the Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town railway stations. The body of Mar Athanasios has been kept at the Ernakulam General Hospital.
Police suspect that the senior priest, who was travelling from Gujarat, fell after being hit by the door of the compartment as he was preparing to alight at Ernakulam junction a few minutes away.
Police and locals conducted a search after his helper informed the police about priest going missing in between two stations and recovered his body from the Pulleppadi bridge area.
Orthodox Church officials said the priest was a celebrated educationist, an efficient administrator and a pioneer in organising congregations in western India. He was also the founder of several educational institutions including six schools in Gujarat.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of Thomas Mar Athanasios. In a message here, the Chief Minister described him as the embodiment of simplicity and compassion, who dealt equally with all sections of society.
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