Around 70 people suffered varying degrees of burns in Tumakuru district after one person lost his balance and fell during a ritual involving walking over burning coals.
The ritual was being held at the Adi Shakti Mariamma temple in Hetthenahalli village in Tumakuru district on the night of Mahashivaratri on Monday. The incident occurred at around 4.30 am on Tuesday.
According to witnesses, the number of people who suffered varying degrees of burns was high because one person lost his balance and fell, following which, those behind too ended up falling on the burning coal.
Smouldering coal was spread across a pit 20x15 feet, over which people walked. In the early hours of Tuesday however, people were running across the pit, as the coal was hot. After one person fell, others who were behind him tried to turn back when they realized what had happened, which led to more people losing their balance and injuring themselves.
While 58 people were admitted to the district hospital in Tumakuru, 17 people are in the burns ward in Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru with 20-30% burns.
But later in the morning, it was business as usual
However, the embers had almost died, allowing for a slow walking pace.