Chennai: A crane came crashing down on the shooting location of director Shankar's Kamal Haasan-starrer Indian 2 here killing three and injuring over nine persons.
An assistant director was among the three killed in the accident on Wednesday night and a case has been registered against the crane operator, who is absconding, under various sections of the IPC, including causing death by negligence, police sources said.
Those dead were assistant director Krishna, 34, art assistant Chandran, 60, and Madhu, 29, a production assistant, Lyca Productions, producer of the movie, said in a statement on Thursday.
Kamal Haasan and Shankar were also present at the sets when the crane crashed. Initial reports suggested Shankar too had been injured, but production managers have denied this.
Haasan, the film's heroine Kajal Aggarwal and others condoled the deaths and hoped that such incidents did not recur. Haasan also visited the injured at a hospital late Wednesday night.
The accident took place at suburban Nazrathpet when the crane employed to erect the sets crashed, the police said.
The shoot was underway at a private cinema studio, they added.
The crane, on which a heavy duty light was being mounted, came crashing down at the site located at Nazrathpet near Poonamallee around 1:30 am.
The victims were first taken to a private hospital nearby and their bodies were shifted to Government General Hospital for post-mortem.
The injured are undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Poonamallee. The condition of two of the injured are reportedly critical, though there is no official confirmation on this.
"I have faced and overcome many accidents, but today's is the most horrific one. I lost three colleagues. The distress of their family members will be many times greater than my own pain. I share their grief as one of them. My deepest condolences to them," Kamal tweeted.
Condoling the death of three "most hardworking" technicians, Lyca Productions said "we are extremely saddened" over the accident.
Lyca Productions said "no words could ease what we truly feel" and expressed condolences to the bereaved families.
Nazarathpet police have registered a case.
Many other film actors including Dhanush mourned the deaths. In a tweet, the actor-producer said the loss at the sets of Indian 2 was "irreparable."
"Such incidents should not recur," he said and wished speedy recovery of the injured.
Kajal Aggarwal expressed anguish over the death of her colleagues.
"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 tweeted.
"In so much shock, denial, trauma from the monstrous crane accident last night. All it took was a fraction of a second to stay alive and type this tweet...." she added.
The film is a sequel to Kamal's 1996 blockbuster, which narrates the story of an aged Army veteran, who takes the law into his own hands as a crusader against corruption, when he finds there is no other way to stem the rot.
Kajal Aggarwal, Rakul Preet and Siddharth are Kamal's co-stars in Indian 2. The film is slated for an early 2021 release, probably during Pongal.
The first part of Indian, also directed by Shankar, had Manisha Koirala, Nedumudi Venu, Urmila Matondkar,Sukanya and Nedumudi Venu as Kamal's co-stars.
The shooting of Indian, which had been delayed as Kamal was recuperating after a minor operation, began earlier this month.
Some parts of the movie were slated to be shot in China, but after the outbreak of coronavirus, it had been decided to shift the shooting to Italy, according to media reports.