Saturday, April 9, 2016

 

'Competitive Fireworks' May Have Led To Kollam Temple Fire, Officials Say

'Competitive Fireworks' May Have Led To Kollam Temple Fire, Officials Say
Sources say officials are investigating whether "competitive fireworks" were the reason behind the massive tragedy.

Story Highlights

83 dead, 350 injured in massive fire at Puttingal temple in Kollam.

Over 10,000 people were present near temple at time of fire.

Fireworks led to fire, trapping devotees within the temple.

Kollam: More than 80 people have been killed and over 350 injured in a massive fire that broke out at the Puttingal temple in Kerala's Kollam before daybreak on Sunday.

Here are the latest developments of the story:
Officials say over 10,000 people were present at a ground next to the temple to watch fireworks during a festival when the fire started a little after 3 am.

People were trapped by the flames when a spark during the fireworks display ignited a separate batch of  firecrackers stored in preparation for the New year festival of Vishu on Thursday.

The fireworks erupted in a big explosion. huge flames engulfed the building within minutes, trapping devotees within the temple in the coastal city 60 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

Sources say officials are investigating whether "competitive fireworks" were the reason behind the massive tragedy.

It is not clear whether the temple had permission for fireworks through the night as part of their rituals.

The fire, which has damaged the roof of the temple, is believed to have been brought under control.

The injured have been taken to 10 hospitals in and around Kollam. The most critically injured would be moved by choppers, tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The PM, who also tweeted that the fire was 'heartrending and shocking beyond words," is expected to visit the site of the tragedy soon.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and assured all help.

The Chief Minister has asked the Election Commission for permission to help the affected families, as the code of conduct is in place for the state election next month.

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