Actor Kamal Haasan on Thursday (February 20) said he escaped death by a whisker when a crane crashed on the sets of his latest venture ‘Indian 2’, and that director Shankar could have also died had he not moved away from the spot four seconds earlier. The tragic incident on Wednesday night claimed lives of three technicians besides injuring others.
“We escaped by a whisker. Four seconds before (the incident), the director (Shankar) and cameraman moved away and I was standing nearer along with the heroine (Kajal Aggarwal),” said the 65-year-old actor. Meanwhile, his political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, said he will not take part in the party events scheduled on Friday, due to the “sad incident”.
Speaking to reporters after paying homage to the three victims here, the MNM party chief also announced ₹1 crore as immediate relief to the families of the victims and those injured at the accident at EVP Film City near Chennai. This was some kind of an interim relief as he knew the pain of recovering from an injury, Haasan said.
He said if he had not moved, someone else would be addressing the media on Thursday instead of him. “What I am saying is accidents are like tsunami. It does not know who is rich or poor. Any industry, including Tamil film industry. has the responsibility to take care of its workers. Through you I urge (the industry) to take steps to safeguard the workers,” he said.
Haasan said the cinema industry may boast of ₹200-300 crore ventures but it was a matter of ‘insult’ that it could not protect its own. There should be a mechanism to protect workers in the cinema industry, the veteran opined. Accidents were waiting to happen and one should ensure they don’t, the actor added.
On Wednesday night, three technicians involved in the Shankar-directed venture were killed and nine others injured when the crane came crashing down. Shooting was going on at a film city in nearby Nazrathpet. A case has been registered against the crane operator, who is absconding, under various sections of the IPC, police sources said.
‘Indian 2’ is a sequel to the Tamil movie ‘Indian’ by the Kamal Haasan-Shankar duo in the 1990s, which reflected on the social evil of corruption, with Haasan donning the protagonist’s role of a freedom fighter taking on the system. Shankar added spice to the script by infusing ‘varmakalai’, a traditional self-defence art hitherto unknown to a large population, in it.
(With inputs from agencies)