Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday pulled up district officials in Kadapa after at least four people were killed and around 30 injured, when a hailstorm followed by a heavy downpour hit Vontimitta village on Friday.
The incident occurred on the eve of Ram Navami when many people had gathered in the area's famous Kodandarama Temple.
As the hail and rain lashed the area, several temporary shelters and sheds that were put up for the devotees collapsed, injuring several people.
The Chief Minister, who was also scheduled to visit the temple, had to stay holed up in a Roads and Buildings (R&B) guest house at Kadapa till around 8:15 pm due to the adverse weather.
After the tragedy occurred, at around 9:15 pm, Naidu and his wife, Nara Bhuvaneswari visited the temple where priests from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) were organising rituals and prayers. The couple were received by TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal.
According to reports, about 1,300 Srivari Sevaks and 800 Scouts were deployed to assist the devotees.
Naidu then went on to spend Friday night in the district and visited the injured devotees at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences.
The state government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 3 lakh to aid those who were severely injured.
Angered at the failure by district authorities to prevent the mishap, Naidu reportedly ordered an internal probe into the collapse of the temporary sheds and shelters that had been put up.
The officials on the other hand, claimed that they received a late warning from the regional office of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Initially, the Rama Sita Kalyanam used to be performed at Bhadrachalam temple in Khammam district, but Naidu chose Vontimitta to perform the ceremonies around three years ago, after bifurcation.