Three people were killed and nine injured when a crane came crashing down on the sets of actor Kamal Haasan's upcoming film Indian 2, police said, as the veteran actor mourned the deaths.
Haasan, who himself 'missed death by a whisker', announced a total sum of Rs 1 crore as relief to the bereaved families as well as the survivors.
He revealed he could have also been killed, but for moving away from the spot a little earlier.
An assistant director was among the three killed in the accident on Wednesday night and a case has been registered against the crane operator, who is absconding, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including causing death by negligence, police sources said.
Those dead were assistant director Krishna, art assistant Chandran and Madhu, a production assistant, Lyca Productions, producer of the movie, said in a statement on
Haasan, the film's heroine Kajal Aggarwal and others condoled the deaths and hoped that such incidents did not recur.
The actor paid homage to the victims in Chennai and announced providing a relief of Rs one crore as immediate relief to the families of the victims and those injured.
The actor also revealed he and the film's director Shankar could have also been among the dead, if they had not moved away from the spot a few seconds earlier.
"We just escaped death by a whisker. Four seconds before, the director and cameraman moved away and I was standing nearer along with the heroine," he said.
"If I had gone nearer either way, today someone would be speaking here (in front of the media) instead of me. What I am saying is accidents are like tsunami. It does not know who is rich or who is poor," he said.
Any industry has the duty to take care of its workers, he said and appealed to the film fraternity to take steps to protect the workers.
"There are accidents waiting to happen and we should ensure they don't happen", he said.
The accident took place at suburban Nazrathpet when the crane employed to erect the sets crashed, police said.
The shoot was underway at a private cinema studio, they added.
On Thursday, Haasan and Lyca Productions condoled the death of the three professionals.
The 65-year-old actor earlier in a tweet said though he had 'met with and crossed' many accidents, this was 'very horrific'.
Expressing his condolences, Haasan tweeted: 'Though (I) have met with and crossed many accidents, today's mishap is very horrific. I have lost three of my colleagues.'
'More than my pain, the grief of the family who lost them will be manifold. I take part in their grief as one of them,' he said.
Condoling the death of three 'most hardworking' technicians, Lyca Productions said 'we are extremely saddened' over the accident.
Lyca Productions said 'no words could ease what we truly feel' and expressed condolences to the bereaved families.
Many other film actors including Dhanush mourned the deaths.
In a tweet, the actor-producer said the loss at the sets of Indian 2 was 'irreparable'.
'Such incidents should not recur,' he said and wished speedy recovery of the injured.
Kajal Aggarwal expressed anguish over the death of her colleagues.
'Words cannot describe the heartache I feel at the unexpected, untimely loss of my colleagues from last night. Krishna,Chandran and Madhu--sending love,strength and my deepest condolences to your families. May God give strength in this moment of desolation,' she tweeted.
'In so much shock, denial, trauma from the monstrous crane accident last night. All it took was a fraction of a second to stay alive and type this tweet...." she added.
Lyricist Vairamuthu also expressed grief.