At least 102 persons were killed and over 350 injured after a fire broke out at the Paravur Puttingal Devi temple around 3:30 a.m on Sunday. The fireworks ceremony was held as part of the annual festival of the temple, near Kollam. Over 100 victims are admitted to the district hospital in Kollam.The explosion was caused when the storehouse of the fireworks materials caught fire. In the impact of the explosion, the office building of the Travancore Devaswom Board near the storehouse blew off.
Cause of the arson
Puttingal Temple is a Hindu temple in the coastal town of Paravur, India. The temple was founded after the presence of the goddess was experienced on an ant hill; “Puttu” being the Malayalam word for ant Hill. The temple festival is renowned for its fireworks.
It has been reported that the permission was not given for temple by the authorities for the fireworks and a case has been registered. Thousands of people had packed into the Puttingal Devi temple and the narrow lanes around it. A fireworks display began at midnight and went on for hours. A cracker then fell on a shed where the fireworks were stored, setting off an explosion. The explosion was caused when the storehouse of the fireworks materials caught fire background.
An emergency cabinet meeting was presided over by Kerala Chief Minister Mr. Oomen Chandy. Disaster response has been phenomenal, with IAF leading from the front and has deployed 4 choppers including Mi17 and ALH. Indian Navy has deployed a Dornier and 2 ALH with medical units. INS Kabra, Kalpeni, and INS Sukanya have been rushed to Kollam coast. Surgical teams are on standby at Kochi’s Naval Command Hospital. 4 NDRF teams in Chennai also on standby.
Also, a team of specialist doctors was being sent from Delhi amid reports of horrific burns suffered by those injured. Many are said to be in a critical condition in several hospitals. Kerala is in the midst of an election for a new state assembly but political parties have called off campaigning as a mark of respect for the victims.
What people said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the incident as “heart-rending and shocking beyond words”.
Kerala police chief said to BBC- “Many of the dead were charred beyond recognition and would have to be identified by DNA tests”
The Logical Indian conveys its deepest condolences to our fellow countrymen who have lost their lives in this tragedy and also to their families. We request our community members to do all they can to help the government and the people to recover from the incident.