Man, daughter, relative and priest were trying to set up a signboard outside beauty parlour

Four persons, including a college student, were electrocuted while preparing for the opening of a beauty parlour in Puzhal early on Sunday.

The victims were a man, his college-going daughter, a relative of theirs and a priest.

According to the police, Thilakaraj (52), who lived on Kolathur-Red Hills Road, worked as a lab technician in Puzhal. He lived with his wife, Naina and daughter Sneha, who was a second-year student of microbiology at a private college.

Apart from working as a technician, Thilakaraj was running a real estate business. As his wife had recently completed a beautician’s course, the family decided to open a beauty parlour. Sneha was to lend a hand at the parlour whenever she was free.

A few months ago, Thilakaraj found a shop that was available for rent on the first floor of a commercial building in Janaki Nagar on Cuddapah Road in Puthagaram, near Puzhal.

The family re-designed the shop’s interior, put in all the equipment needed and decided to hold an opening ceremony on Sunday as it was an auspicious day.

As part of the ceremony, a puja had been planned. The family invited Ramamurthy, a priest from Nagappa Nagar in Chromepet to conduct it.

On 5.30 a.m. on Sunday, Thilakaraj, Sneha, a relative of theirs Navin Sundar (48), who was an electrician from Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar and the priest arrived at the shop.

Once the puja was completed, Thilakaraj and Navin Sundar applied sandalwood paste and vermillion on the shop’s signboard and decided to fix it in place over the entrance. They lifted one end and Sneha and Ramamurthy lifted the other end. Just then, the board came into contact with an overhead electricity cable a few feet above the shop.

“The metal board touched the cable and all four were electrocuted on the spot. It was instant, as the floor they were standing on was wet,” said a police officer.

When Thilakaraja and Sneha did not come home, Naina went to the shop to check on them. She found all four dead, and with the help of passers-by, managed to alert the police.

A complaint has been filed and an investigation is on, police said.

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