Kochi: A 80-year old priest of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church died this morning after he allegedly fell off a moving train near Ernakulam junction, police said. The Metropolitan of the Diocese of Chengannur of the Orthodox Church, Thomas Mar Athanasios, died due to a fall from the coach of a train in between Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam junction at around 5.30 a.m, police added.
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. His body was shifted to Ernakulam General Hospital for autopsy.
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.