Mumbai (Reuters) – A freak electrocution in southern India killed at least 11 people, including two children, when their vehicle snagged overhead transmission lines and burst into flame as they rode in a religious procession, authorities said on Wednesday.
More than a dozen people were also injured in the district of Thanjavur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu after the vehicle, a 9-ft (2.7-m) -high structure fashioned in the form of a chariot and pulled by worshippers, hit the high-voltage lines.
“I hope those injured recover soon,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, as he offered condolences to the bereaved.
Some of the injured were hurt in falls following the electric shock, and others, who scrambled to escape the flames, when they jumped from the chariot, which carried statues of Hindu deities in addition to the devotees.
The chariot, which had been wending its way back to a nearby temple, was left a charred ruin.
Fire engines and local officials joined the rescue effort.