Agartala: As many as six people, including a nine-year-old child, died of electrocution when a high-tension electricity line came in contact with the top of the chariot during the ‘Ulto Rath’ yatra in the Kumarghat area of Unakoti district on Wednesday. At least 30 others were injured in the incident.
All the deceased persons are said to be ISKCON devotees, who were walking with the chariot during the festival that marks the return of Lord Jagannath to his shrine after seven days, local MLA Bhagaban Chandra Das told EastMojo.
Das said the deceased include a 9-year-old child, four women and one man. Sources said while six people died on spot, at least 30 others were severely wounded in the electric shock.
Seven of the injured persons have been shifted to the Unakoti District Hospital in the adjoining sub-division of Kailashahar. At least 15 other devotees are under treatment at the Kumarghat sub divisional hospital.
Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha expressed grief after the incident. In a social media post, he said, “Today a good number of devotees lost their lives in a tragic incident of electrocution that took place during the Ulto Rath. I am deeply pained by the incident. I extend my deep condolences to the bereaved families and wish speedy recovery to the people who are injured.”
The state government would stand beside the grief-stricken families, the CM added.
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Detailing the incident, MLA Bhagaban Chandra Das said, “As per the rituals, Lord Jagannath is brought to another place for seven days during the Rath Yatra. In Kumarghat, the idols were brought to the motorstand area where a temporary temple was set up. On Wednesday, the idols were once again set on the Rath to take them back to the temple. When the rath reached the Chowmuhani block, a high tension electricity line came in contact with the top of the Rath that resulted in the tragedy.”
The fire tenders rescued the injured persons first and shifted them to the hospital. After identification of the bodies, the mortal remains were shifted to the hospital for the necessary medical procedures, Das told EastMojo.
Power Minister Ratan Lal Nath has ordered an inquiry in connection with the incident. “I have spoken to the local MLA Bhagaban Das and the DGM of Tripura State Electricity Corporation. I have ordered an inquiry and directed the officials to submit the report as soon as possible,” he added.
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