Banyan tree branch collapses during Thrissur Pooram ritual; 2 killed, several sustain injuries
Thrissur: In an unfortunate mishap amidst the Thrissur pooram rituals, a branch of a Banyan tree (aal maram) gave way and collapsed killing two people. The deceased were members of Thiruvambady Devaswom Board and were identified as the festival committee member Ramesh (56) and Poonkunnam Radhakrishnan (65). According to preliminary reports, as many as 25 people sustained injuries. One among the injured continues to be in a serious state. The injured are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. A few policemen who were assigned Pooram duty also sustained injuries, including a CI from Anthikad.
The mishap occurred when the Thiruvambady Devaswom's Madathil Varavu Panchavadyam, a religious ceremony related to Thrissur Pooram festival began, near the Brahmaswam Madam at about 12.20 am. A huge branch of the banyan tree fell over the people as the percussion artists were performing under it leading to the death of two persons, police said, adding the injured have been hospitalised.
During the melee, an elephant, which was being paraded in the procession, ran amok but the mahouts managed to bring it under control, police said. A branch of the tree also fell over the electricity line and the power was snapped immediately. As it was night time, rescue efforts was progressing slowly initially.
The police and fire force were involved in rescue efforts and the district collector and police chief rushed to the spot. A major mishap was averted as there were only a limited number of people at the place due to the restriction imposed.
Meanwhile, other rituals scheduled for today may not take place in the wake of the unfortunate incident. The Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Dewaswom have withdrawn from the vedikkettu or fireworks ritual of the pooram. The decision comes after they held talks with the collector. The explosive substances were already filled for the vedikkettu and the Devaswom officials informed that the explosives will have to be destroyed and there is no other way.