Manorama News Live: Kollam Puttingal Temple Fire; 105 Dead, 300 Injured

April 10, 2016 will remain as a black day among Keralites, as more than 100 people have been reported dead after a major fire broke out at a temple in Kollam.

The fire blast which took place at Puttingal Temple was as strong as a powerful bomb explosion, and the tremors were felt more than two kilometers away. 300 people have been injured, and they are undergoing treatment at Kollam District Hospital and Trivandrum Medical College.

The deceased include Civil Police Officer Saji Sebastian.

The mishap happened at 03.30 PM during the festival celebration of ‘Meena Bharani’. According to reports, the fire works started at 12.00 AM, and the unexpected blast happened before few minutes of its conclusion.

Local Police Officials headed by City Police Commissioner is leading the rescue operations now. Air Force has sent four helicopters to the spot, and Indian Navy has started its course to Kollam port.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through his official social media handle expressed his shock, and he added that he will visit the state in no time. According to Oommen Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister, the mishap is unprecedented and alarming.

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If reports are true, then the type of crackers called ‘Kamba Kettu’ is not supposed to use in temples and District Collector has already banned it.

But, the powerful festival organizers conducted the ‘fire competition’ despite of the opposition. Competitive fire works display is not being there in any other temples of Kerala, and this is the only place which embraces this custom even after criticisms.

Many concrete structures have been blown away, and this clearly indicates the power of the blast. Surendran, the person who is charge of the fire work display is critically injured and is undergoing treatment at the Kollam District Hospital.

The incident happened days before Thrissur Pooram, another Festival in the state known for large scale fire works. This mishap which happened today is considered as the largest fire accident in the state.

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