NEW DELHI: At least 96 people were killed and 350 others injured when an explosion took place at the Puttingal Devi temple during a festival at Paravoor here at around 3 am on Sunday morning.
As the temple festival was on, fireworks display had commenced at the temple precincts since midnight and hundreds of people had gathered to watch the show.
As the fireworks and pyrotechnics display was coming to a close at 3 AM, an explosion is suspected to have occurred at the storeroom ‘Kambapuram’ filled with crackers and pyrotechnics materials, police said.
Taking to micro-blogging site, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.”
He also said that he will be reaching Kerala soon to take stock of the situation arising due to the fire tragedy in Kollam.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has cancelled his all programmes and rushed to the spot.
Injured people have been rushed to Trivandrum Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram. Some with minor injuries have been admitted to different hospitals at Meeyapuram and Kottiyam.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy termed as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘alarming’ the situation at the Puttingal Devi temple.
PM leaves for Kerala to take stock of situation arising due to fire incident; A team of doctors including burn specialists accompanying him.
Aftermath of massive fire at Puttingal temple in #Kollam (Kerala)
Unexploded dynamite sticks at the site of Puttingal temple fire tragedy.
Prime Minister Modi is taking a team of doctors specialising in treating burn injuries along with him.
Update: PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of deceased and Rs 50000 to critically injured, government Spokesperson to ANI.
Helpline numbers: 0474 2512344, 9497960778, 9497930869
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and assured all central help to deal with the situation arising out of the tragedy.
“My heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the Kollam mishap. My prayers are with the injured,” Singh said.
Read: PM Modi to visit Kerala after ‘shocking’ temple fire, says critically injured to be shifted via helicopter
The State Chief Secretary has been asked to write a letter to the Election Commission for necessary sanction to exclude the treatment facilities to the injured from the ambit of the Election Code of Conduct, said CM Oommen Chandy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter to express his condolences to the victims.
PM Modi said, “Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.”
Stating that he has spoken to CM Oommen Chandy about the fire at a temple in Kollam, he added, “Arranging for immediate shifting of those critically injured via helicopter.”
“Have also asked my Cabinet colleague & Health Minister JP Nadda to immediately reach the site of the fire tragedy in Kollam,” Modi said in a series of tweets.
We are giving all possible support to the injured people. Injured people have been admitted to Trivandrum medical college & 13 dead bodies have been brought here: Kerala Health Minister VS Sivakumar
Sadananda Gowda expresses his condolences
Update: Death toll has risen to 75, over 200 injured
According to India Today, the fire is believed to have occurred around 3:30 AM during festivities including fire crackers. CM Oommen Chandy and HM Ramesh Chennithala will visit the spot later in the day. The injured are being rushed to Trivandrum Medical College and Kollam General Hospital.
Kollam ACP K Lalji to ANI, 60 people have died more than 200 injured in Puttingal temple in Paravoor in Kerala’s Kollam district