Video: Giant pole at Andhra temple breaks during installation as hundreds watch on

Several men were seen trying to hold the pole and help lower it into its base, when it suddenly broke off from the impact of being dropped by the two cranes holding it.
Giant pole at Andhra temple breaks during installation as hundreds watch on
Giant pole at Andhra temple breaks during installation as hundreds watch on
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Scores of onlookers had a narrow escape when part of a massive temple pole broke and came crashing down at a temple in Paditivaripalem of Piduguralla mandal in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday, February 21. The alarming incident was captured on camera from a distance, and devotees and onlookers can be seen screaming and fleeing as a part of the dhwajasthambham, a pole or flagstaff often seen in Hindu temples in south India, came crashing down.

The pole was being put in place with the help of two cranes, and as it was let go by both the cranes at the same time, the top portion of the pole broke off from the impact and fell down with a thud. The people gathered around the pole had a narrow escape, as no one was seriously injured according to reports. A Piduguralla police official told TNM that no serious injuries or hospital admissions were reported as a result of the accident. 

According to Sakshi, the pole or dhwajasthambham is associated with a Rama temple in the village, and is several decades old. As part of temple restoration works, the old dhwajasthambham was dislocated and was being reinstalled on Monday, February 21. 

In the worrying video, the two cranes locked onto the pole near its top from either side are seen trying to place it accurately in its base. A man overseeing the installation is heard announcing instructions on a mic, asking people to move away. The bottom of the pole is seen swinging precariously from side to side, and when its installation seems imminent, several men are seen moving forward to surround the pole and help properly lower it into its base. 

The man making announcements is heard leading chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Soon, however, as the pole is abruptly lowered into the base as both cranes let go of their hooks at the same time, the pole is seen breaking off due to the impact and falling to the side. The men surrounding the pole are seen running away immediately, narrowly escaping injuries. 

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