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PM Modi to visit Kerala after ‘shocking’ temple fire, says critically injured to be shifted via helicopter

NEW DELHI(PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed his condolences to the victims of the Kerala temple fire and said he will be reaching the state soon to take stock of the situation arising due to the unfortunate fire tragedy in Kollam.

At least 83 people were killed and over 350 injured during festivities at the Puttingal Devi Temple at nearby Paravoor on Sunday morning, when a huge explosion occurred at a store room filled with crackers and pyrotechnic material.

I will be reaching Kerala soon to take stock of the situation arising due to the unfortunate fire tragedy in Kollam.

The mishap occurred as sparks fell on the storeroom ‘Kambapura’ and exploded with a thundering noise at around 3.30 AM, police said.

Kerala temple fire: Situation at mishap site unprecedented and alarming, says CM Oommen Chandy
Thousands of people had gathered at the temple precincts to witness the fireworks display which were on since midnight.

Live | Kerala: Massive fire at Puttingal temple in Kollam: at least 83 dead, over 350 injured

Taking to micro-blogging site, PM Modi said, “The fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured. I will be reaching Kerala soon to take stock of the situation arising due to the unfortunate fire tragedy in Kollam.”

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.”

Also read: Kerala temple fire: Situation at mishap site unprecedented and alarming, says CM Oommen Chandy

“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.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is rushing to the accident spot after cancelling his programmes, said the situation was “unprecedented and alarming”.

“Rescue operation at the mishap spot is over…The next main focus of the government is to provide best treatment to the injured,” he told PTI.

Many bodies have been charred and a DNA test would be conducted to ascertain the identity of the deceased.

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, he said.

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