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6 dead, 15 hurt as Tripura Rath Yatra turns into tragedy

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
June 28, 2023 21:58 IST
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Six people, including two children, died of electrocution and 15 others were injured as a Rath came in contact with a high-tension wire in Tripura's Unakoti district on Wednesday, the police said.

IMAGE: The Rath Yatra procession just before the tragedy struck, in Unakoti district, in Tripura, June 28, 2023. Photograph: ANI on Twitter

The incident happened around 4.30 pm in Kumarghat area during the 'Ulta Rath Yatra' or return car festival of Lord Jagannath organised by ISKCON, they said.


During this festival, the sibling deities -- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhdara and Lord Jagannath -- return to their abode in a chariot, a week after Rath Yatra.

Thousands of people were pulling the chariot, made of iron and heavily decorated, when it came in contact with a 133 kv overhead cable. Parts of the Rath immediately caught fire and people fell on the road with their bodies on flame, the police said.

Fire Services reached the spot, and brought the situation under control, they said.

Six people died on the spot and 15 others received burn injuries, assistant inspector general (law & order) Jyotishman Das Chowdhury told PTI.

Among the deceased, there were two children and three women, the police said.

The injured persons were rushed to Kailashahar and Kumarghat hospitals in the district, and later seven of them were sent to the GB Pant Hospital in Agartala as their conditions were critical, they said.

Chief Minister Manik Saha was on the way to Kumarghat, around 120 km from Agartala, to take stock of the situation.

"In a tragic accident at Kumarghat, several pilgrims lost their lives and several others were injured due to electrocution while pulling the 'Ulta Rath'. I am deeply saddened by this incident. Deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Also, I wish the injured persons a speedy recovery. The state government stands by them in this difficult time," he said.

Power Minister Ratan Lal Nath said he has directed the Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd to probe the incident, and submit a report immediately.

Leader of Opposition Animesh Debbarma of the Tipra Motha demanded strong action against those behind the lapses, which led to the accident.

"It appears that the incident took place due to lack of alertness by the local administration," he alleged.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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