Catholic Bishop in Mauritius Condoles with Families of Indian Pilgrimage Victims

At least six people died and 17 others were injured when the kanvar (statue) hit high voltage power lines in Triolet, Arsenal. Credit: Le Mauricien

Bishop Jean Michaël Durhône of the Catholic Diocese of Port Louis in Mauritius has expressed his closeness with the families that lost their loved ones when a statue of the Trikaal Sena group, in Triolet, Arsenal struck a high-voltage power line on Sunday, March 3 afternoon.

At least six people died and 17 others were injured when the kanvar (statue) hit high voltage power lines. The pilgrims were on their way to Grand-Bassin for the Maha Shivaratri pilgrimage. The pilgrimage takes place at the end of February or beginning of March every year. 

In a statement issued March 3, Bishop Durhône said, “Today we mourn six young people who died tragically on the road at Arsenal while making their pilgrimage to Ganga Talao.”

“I offer my condolences to the families who must be devastated by this brutal loss,” the Local Ordinary of Port Louis said.

He added, “I pray for all those families who have lost a loved one. I sympathize with their suffering.”


“I am also thinking of the injured who have been hospitalized. We wish them a speedy recovery,” the Mauritian Catholic Church leader, who was ordained Bishop of Port Louis Diocese in August last year said.

He said, “At this difficult and painful time, let's show even greater solidarity with each other, by showing kindness and offering words of comfort to those affected by this tragedy.”

Bishop Durhône further appealed to social media users to avoid broadcasting images of the tragedy on various platforms out of respect of the deceased and their families.

Mauritius Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth said he was devastated by the Sunday tragedy.

Last year a similar incident occurred at Mare-Longue, resulting in two deaths.

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In another statement, members of the Council of Religions (CoR) in Mauritius expressed thier “deepest condolences to the families who have lost their dear ones in this tragic event at Arsenal.”

CoR members urged the whole nation to “refrain from sharing the images and clips of the burnt bodies as a sign of respect for the deceased and their families.”

The National Task Force in Mauirtius has urged pilgrims to adhere to safety instructions, especially regarding the size of the kanwars.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.