CHENNAI : A 75-year-old theatre owner was killed when a glass panel crashed and fell on him on Wednesday during the release of Vijay’s action movie ‘Kaththi’.
Police said N Krishnan, the owner of Sri Lakshmi Cinema Hall in Thiruninravur on Periyapalayam Road, was trying to control a large crowd of moviegoers when some of them started jostling and pushing each other, causing the glass panel to come crashing down.
Police said the morning show had just ended and people were waiting to get in the theatre for the noon show. Krishnan was standing near the ticket counter and monitoring the crowd.
“A section of the crowd suddenly surged forward at the entrance of the theatre and the glass panel broke and pieces fell on Krishnan,” a police officer said.
At least 35 shards from the glass panel pierced Krishnan in the body and head, the officer said. He collapsed in a pool of blood even as moviegoers continued to mill around till theatre employees rushed him to a private hospital in Porur where he died at 8 pm.
A witness said more than 1,000 people had gathered to watch the noon show. In the melee, some moviegoers tried to grab tickets from the counter where Krishnan was standing. Lack of policemen at the theatre contributed to the confusion, which could otherwise have been averted, moviegoers who witnessed the incident said.
Police said doctors battled for an hour to remove pieces of glass that had pierced various parts of Krishnan’s body. Based on a complaint by his Krishnan’s son Rajavel, the Thiruninravur police registered a case of unnatural death.
Tamil groups protested the release of ‘Kaththi’ after it was rumoured that the promoters of Lyca Productions, the movie’s producer, had links to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.