One person died and two were injured after an elevator collapsed inside a marriage hall in Tondiarpet, around noon, on Sunday.

According to the police, the wedding of Krishna Kumar and G.S. Asha was being held at Annai Marriage Hall on Tondiarpet High Road on Sunday morning when the accident happened.

The deceased was identified as Prasad Rao (52) of Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. K. Srinivas (40) and his wife Sunitha (32) from Kandukur near Ongole were injured.

The marriage hall has two elevators on the left side of its entrance. The wedding took place on the first floor of the building, while the food was being served on the second floor. There were rooms on the third floor, from where the victim and two others took the elevator down.

According to relatives of the victims, the staff of the hall did not respond to the guests’ complaints about the faulty elevator.

“We reached the hall on Saturday and found the elevator was getting stuck often. We complained to the marriage hall staff but they did nothing about it,” said B. Chiranjeevi, a relative of Krishna Kumar’s, who came from Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. The police said the hall owners were absconding.

The wedding ceremony was held between 9.30 am and 10 am on Sunday. “After that, everyone proceeded for the feast.

Three of them – Prasad Rao, K. Srinivas and his wife Sunitha – got into the lift from the third floor. When it reached the second floor, it got stuck,” said D. Tejan, a relative.

Caught inside, Srinivas called a relative, D. Charan, over phone and told him that he was suffocating. “I rushed to the manager and complained immediately. But he did not move from his chair. In a few minutes, there was a loud noise. The floor beneath shook as if there was an earthquake,” Mr. Charan said.

When they rushed to the ground floor, they saw smoke emanating from the elevator. “The door was open, possibly due to the impact. The mirror inside the lift had shattered and injured Prasad Rao badly. We rushed him to Apollo Hospital in Tondiarpet. He died soon after reaching the hospital,” said Mr. Chiranjeevi.

Srinivas and Sunitha were admitted to the hospital with injuries. “Nearly 15 of us were supposed to take the lift, but at the last minute, decided to walk down. Otherwise, the casualty would have been huge,” said Mr. Chiranjeevi.  

According to P. Sivasankaran, police inspector, Korukkupet law and order, of the two elevators in the hall, one was shut down on Saturday, as it was not working properly.

“The marriage hall is owned by Umapathy and his partner Gurusamy, both residents of T. Nagar. But, after this incident, their houses were found locked. They are absconding,” the inspector said.

The deceased, Prasad Rao, is survived by his wife and two children. “His daughter is in her final year of MCA and his son is a B.Tech student. He was working as a reviewer in a private bank,” said Bharathi, Prasad Rao’s sister.

Licence norms

Every elevator must be licensed by the Tamil Nadu Electrical Inspectorate.

The Inspectorate issues licences after the scrutiny of applications and site inspection, to ensure safety standards. The licence must be renewed every year.

The elevator in the marriage hall had two doors, one behind the other.

“The lift cable snapped and caused the accident. The hall is not very old. They charge Rs. 60,000 per day so we assume they maintain the hall reasonably well. We will know the exact cause of the accident after further investigation,” the police inspector said.

  • The marriage hall has two elevators on the left side of its entrance

  • The mirror inside the lift had shattered and injured Prasad Rao badly