Tragedy struck rain-battered Chennai early Sunday morning when six women were killed and 10 others were injured in a stampede at a relief distribution centre in Vysarpadi area, police said.
The incident occurred when nearly 300 people gathered at around 4:30 AM in front of the centre, where the Tamil Nadu government was to distribute Rs 2,000, 10 kg of rice, dhotis and sarees to the flood affected persons.
As soon as the centre opened for distribution, people rushed to get the doles and in the ensuing stampede, six were killed and 10 injured.
The injured were admitted to a government hospital, police said.
The distribution centre has been temporarily closed, though two other such centres in the city were functioning normally.
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister C Ponnaiyan said an investigation would be conducted to know how so many people had gathered in front of the relief centre.
The minister said relief distribution work would be continued, dismissing rumours that Sunday was the last day for the distribution of doles and hence people in large numbers had gathered.
Meanwhile, rains, continuously pouring since late Saturday night, flooded many low-lying areas of the city disrupting normal life and affecting traffic.
The local weather office said with the low pressure area over Southwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Sri Lankan coast persisting for the second day, widespread rains were forecast for the next 24-hours beginning from 08:30 AM on Sunday morning, over most parts of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
The city recorded 9.1 cm of rainfall over the last 24 hours, while suburban Meenambakkam recorded 10.7 cm of rainfall, the weather office said.