A huge fire broke out at Puttingal temple at Paravaur (Kollam District), Kerala early Sunday morning leaving at least eighty dead and over a hundred injured, local media said quoting police officials. The fire took place at around 3.30 am this morning.
According to reports, the fire could have been caused due to a firework that sparked a pile of fireworks stocked for the temple celebrations. The police had earlier warned temple authorities to restrict usage of fireworks.
7.50 am: The fireworks display forms an important part of celebrations at the temple. Traditionally, there is even a competitive fireworks show organised at the temple. However, this year there was no competition, probably because of the local administration’s restrictions.
7.42 am: Local reports coming in also say that window panes of houses within a 1-km radius have been shattered.
7.40 am: The building collapse is being seen as one of the main reasons for such a high casualty rate.
7.32 am: The building of the Devaswom Board, which runs temples in Kerala, collapsed due to the impact. Many people at the spot complained of bleeding from their ears.
7.30 am: The death toll is now at 84, Kerala DGP Senkumar has told The Indian Express.
7.24 am: Local media channels report that the temple authorities went ahead with the fireworks display despite a warning from the local administration.
7. 20 am: Watch video – Fire at Kerala Temple
7.00 am: The death toll is now at 70, K Lalji, ACP, Kollam district has said, adding that over 200 people were injured. “The situation is now under control, the DGP is also here,” he said, adding that the rescue operations were still underway.
6.52 am: Home Minister Chennithala has said that a judicial inquiry will be ordered into the fire and that the Chief Minister will be at the site around noon. He also said the government will announce compensation for families of those dead as well as the injured.
6.50 am: Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the DGP has been asked to rush to the site and he will coordinate all rescue efforts. “The temple holds an annual firework display every year. We’re doing our best to rescue those still trapped.”
6.46 am: Asianet reports that the police had not given permission for the use of fireworks
6.42 am: The fire at the temple site has been brought under control
6.40 am: CM Oommen Chandy, state ministers have rushed to the site
6.35 am: Victims have been rushed to a local hospital in Kollam while those in a much serious condition have been transferred to Thiruvananthapuram.
6:23 am: Kollam ACP K Lalji to ANI, 60 people have died more than 200 injured in Puttingal temple in Paravoor in Kerala’s Kollam district
(Story and Pix : indianexpress)