First human casualty at Srikalahasthi

Body of 40-yr-old man retrieved from collapsed temple debris

The body of Raja, trapped in the rubble, was removed this evening, official sources told said. Raja hails from Pellakur village in nearby Nellore district, and had been working in a small hotel close to the temple tower.

When the area around the temple was declared a danger zone soon after the yawning crack along the seven tiers of the ‘Raja Gopuram’ was noticed few days ago, families and people working in small tea shops and hotels in the precincts were all evacuated.

However, Raja had remained inside the hotel though his employer had granted him leave, the Chittoor District Superintendent of Police, Ramakrishna said.

When Raja did not answer telephone calls even a day after the tragedy, his worried relatives had turned up at Srikalahasthi on Saturday, only to find his body. Nobody had noticed his presence inside as all in the temple tower’s proximity were evacuated.

“He (Raja) was also supposed to have left the hotel, we do not know why he stayed back and now we will have to find it out,” Ramakrishna said adding that they were not expecting to find anymore bodies at the crash site. The  debris clearing work is still on at Srikalahasthi.

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