Update: A preliminary enquiry has revealed that rules were flouted by the temple authorities with regard to firework display. Reportedly, no permission was taken for the fireworks display at the temple, and the godown which store fireworks were not insulated to prevent sparks. The mandatory distance of 100 meters between the firework godown and the firework display venue was not maintained, according to a CNN-IBN report.
Over 86 people died and more than 340 people injured in a massive fire that broke out in a temple in Kerala’s Kollam district. The fire broke out at the Kollam’s Puttingal temple at around 3.30 am on Sunday morning when a pack of firecrackers caught fire during the fireworks show as part of the temple festivities.
A huge explosion was followed by a massive fire trapping hundreds of devotees gathered at the temple premises for the temple festival. Impact of the explosion reportedly was felt by people in a radius of one-and- half kilometer.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home minister Ramesh Chennithala hav reached the site of explosion.
“This is one of the most tragic incidents in the country. We are all worried. State government will take stock of the situation. The Chief Minister will arrive by noon. Cabinet will be meeting by 3 pm,” Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told CNN-IBN.
“We will conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident. We will also provide all financial support to the people,” Chennithala further said, adding that the central government was also providing all support.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he would be visiting the temple to take stock of the situation. He is expected arrive by 3.30 pm.
The injured have been rushed to Trivanandapuram Medical College and Kollam General Hospital.
The incident occurred four days before Malayalam New Year.