At least four people were killed and nearly 70 injured at the ancient Ram temple in Ontimitta in Kadapa district when the pandals collapsed as gales accompanied by heavy rain lashed the district, police said.
The incident occurred minutes ahead of the arrival of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday night for the celestial wedding of Lord Rama as part of Rama Navami celebrations, resulting in chaos at the temple, a senior police official said.
Scores of devotees had also gathered to witness 'Srirama Kalyanam' at the historic Kodandarama Swami Temple. The main event was, however, not affected because of a huge rain-proof pandal and provision of generators.
While shelters were in place for devotees attending the ceremony, the heavy downpour caused all shelters and temporary sheds to collapse, thus causing injuries to devotees, and consuming four lives. Several trees and electric lines were also uprooted.
As per reports, the injured have been shifted to the Rajiv Institute of Medical Sciences in Kadapa for treatment.
After attending the celestial wedding, the chief minister visited RIMS at Kadapa and met those undergoing treatment.
He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 15 lakh each to the kin of those killed and Rs three lakh each to those seriously injured.
A senior official said an inquiry is being conducted into the various lapses that led to the tragedy at the festival.