A devastating incident unfolded in Kumarghat during the 'Ulta Rath Yatra' festival of Lord Jagannath, where a Rath came into contact with a high-tension wire, resulting in a fatal fire. The accident occurred at around 4.30 pm, claiming the lives of six individuals and leaving 15 others with burn injuries, according to the police.
As per reports, the festival symbolises the homecoming of the divine siblings, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Jagannath, to their revered abode, a week following the Rath Yatra. Amidst the celebratory atmosphere, a considerable crowd enthusiastically participated in pulling the 'Rath,' which was crafted from iron. Tragically, during the procession, an unfortunate incident occurred when the 'Rath' unintentionally came into contact with a 133kv overhead cable, as stated by the police.
Assistant Inspector General (Law & Order) Jyotishman Das Chowdhury informed PTI that six individuals lost their lives instantly, while 15 others sustained burn injuries. The injured victims are currently receiving medical treatment at a nearby hospital, he added. Officials have reported that their conditions are critical.
Chief Minister Manik Saha expressed his condolences, and said, "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."
(with inputs from PTI)