TIRUPATI: The putrefied body of a person was extricated from rubble of the Srikalahasti temple Rajagopuram which crumbled like a pack of cards on Wednesday night, barely within two days after the authorities shifted on a war-footing all the residents and shop-keepers living under the massive tower, to safer places.
The body was identified as that of Raja of Pellakuru in the adjacent Nellore district. He was working as a cook in the eatery which was caught under the crashed tower as it collapsed.
Rs. 2 lakh ex gratia
The hopes of his family members to see him alive, however, vanished as the earth mover clearing the rubble dished out his body. Sources said that the Endowments Department had announced an ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to the family of the deceased, amid demands from the latter for a higher compensation. Meanwhile, earthmovers are busy removing from the crash site the huge mounds of debris, including massive granite pillars and beams. A number of simians and birds, which had made the seven-storeyed tower as their habitat, also perished as the Rajagopuram came crashing down on the fateful night.
Despite the fluid situation after the crash of the gopuram, temple rituals are, however, going on without any interruption. Entry point to the temple complex is changed and traffic around the crash site diverted to allow the restoration work.