Three technicians were killed and nine others were injured on the sets of 'Indian 2' when a crane came crashing down on Wednesday.

Costume designer Amritha who was on Indian 2 sets recalls narrow escape
Flix Accident Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 16:32

“It was the fifth day of the schedule. It was normal, like every other day. We used to go there, shoot late into the night and all…. This was so unexpected,” costume designer Amritha Ram’s voice trails off as she tries to recollect what happened on the sets of the Tamil film Indian 2 on Wednesday night.

Three technicians were killed and nine others injured in a freak accident on the sets of Indian 2 in Chennai. The incident happened late on Wednesday night when a crane, which was being used to construct the set, came crashing down. The deceased have been identified as Krishna (Assistant Director), Chandran (Art Assistant) and Madhu (Production Assistant).

Speaking to TNM, Amritha Ram, a costume designer who was on the set when the accident happened and had, in her words, missed death by a whisker, says that the team was rehearsing for an action sequence on Wednesday night.

“A make-up artist, Kajal (Aggarwal), Kamal (Haasan) sir and I were in front of the monitor. We were having lighthearted conversations and suddenly I felt like a hurricane or tsunami was rushing towards us. I really don’t remember much as it’s all blacked out for me. I remember something crashing down, noise all around, people running everywhere...and then I ran out. All this happened in less than 10 seconds,” she says, still sounding traumatised by the incident.

Director Shankar was also present on the sets. Amritha couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the huge crane that had fallen on the spot where she and her colleagues were standing a short while before.

“My immediate instinct was to check if those who were standing next to me were okay. Kamal sir was on my right and Kajal was also around. I was also looking out for my team and seeing if they were fine,” she adds.

According to Amritha, there had been no sign that the crane was unstable or risky. She says that the team had been shooting at the same spot for five days without any issues.

Amritha had tweeted that she was fine, shortly after the accident. “I had to collect myself from that immediate effect to tweet it out since I started getting a lot of calls after word about the incident got out,” she adds.

Hours after the incident, Kajal Aggarwal also tweeted her condolences to the victims. “Words cannot describe the heartache I feel at the unexpected, untimely loss of my colleagues from last night. Krishna, Chandran and Madhu. Sending love, strength and my deepest condolences to your families. May god give strength in this moment of desolation,” she wrote.

Amritha says that the loss feels personal since the team has been working together for quite some time. “In a set like this, where we work for 20-25 days at a stretch, it is a team. They (the victims) were all so young. Who deserves to die there? Since it was a stunt sequence, there were a lot of people there,” she explains, adding that director Shankar and Kamal Haasan went to the hospital immediately after the incident.

Noting that she realised the importance of having the contact numbers of doctors and hospitals on the call sheets, Amritha says that ambulances and medicos were always there on the sites where the crew has shot before, including Bhopal and Gwalior.

“I have never been in one of those life-death experiences. I could not sleep last night. It all happened in a matter of seconds. It feels unreal to me and I have been trying to figure out what could have gone wrong,” she says.

Indian 2 is being produced by Lyca Productions, and has Kamal Haasan and Kajal Aggarwal in lead roles. The film is a sequel to Indian, which released in 1996.

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