At least four persons drowned in the tank of the famous Lord Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai on Monday when a stampede broke out.
As hundreds of devotees jostled to take a holy dip on the occasion of Mahodaya Amavasya, which happens once in 30 years, there are allegations that the authorities were under-prepared.
The mishap occurred at the 'Ayyan Theerthavari Kulam' when more than 2,000 devotees tried to take a holy dip along with the priests of the temple who entered the waters with the sacred trident this morning, police said.
The Times of India reports that revenue officials blamed temple authorities for not alerting police or fire service personnel despite complete knowledge of the event taking place. Eye-witnesses say one of the four devotees could not survive due to lack of timely medical help, and it was too late by the time the other three devotees were found.