A pall of gloom has descended over Sadashivnagar in Belgaum following the death of four persons after they came in contact with a high-tension electricity cable here on Wednesday night.
The deceased were in an open van that was transporting a 28-foot idol of lord Ganesh for immersion. The accident occurred when an iron pipe used to support the idol touched the cable.
As the news spread, immersion processions became silent with all public mandals switching off their sound systems and cultural troupes putting down their drums and trumpets.
The deceased were identified as Geeta Gajanan Saple (42), Sujan Gajanan Saple (10), Prajval Anil Mali (16) and Gangappa Mudli (52). Geeta and Sujan were the wife and son of Gajanan Saple, president of the Samata Yuvak Mandal which installed the idol.
Eight persons were injured. Of them, six were shifted to KLE Prabhakar Kore hospital. They were identified as Sahil Kajukar (16), who suffered a major burn on his right arm, Basavaraj (33), Appaji Malwadkar (55), Somesh Madiwal (16), Santosh Kale (48) and Sachin Kumpi (18). Sources in the hospital said none of them were in danger.
A large number of people, including relatives and well-wishers, gathered at the houses of the deceased on Thursday morning to offer their condolences and be present for the last rites.
Minister for Sugar, Small-scale Industries and Muzrai Prakash B. Hukkeri, who visited the families of the deceased, called up Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and sought suitable compensation for the families.
Mr. Hukkeri was present for the last rites, along with Prabhakar Kore, MP, Suresh C. Angadi, MP and Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram.