Apr 11, 2016 14:14(IST)
"We have drawn some samples which will be sent for testing. We will be able to say what type of chemicals were used only after testing," Chief Controller Explosives Sudarshan Kamal said.
12:56(IST) Yechury meets injured
Sitharam Yechury met the injured and the families of the deceased and said that the state government should provide employment to the injured and the kin of the deceased.
"Monetary compensation is not enough. The state government should announce employment for the kin of victims so that they have some future," Yechury told reporters after meeting the victims.
"The guilty should be punished," he added. "The Prime Minister was here. I chose not to come here yesterday because the priority of the administration should be to provide relief. When that was over, I decided to come here," he said.
Yechury also said that this disaster "definitely merits to be considered a national calamity."
'It is correct that we denied permission for fireworks display' 12:35(IST) Seven-member team inspects Kollam fire tragedy site
ANI, a seven-member team led by Chief Controller Explosives Sudarshan Kamal inspected the tragedy site. 12:28(IST) Families struggle to find their loved ones
After scouring six hospitals and three morgues, NP Anoop is no closer to finding his father who was caught in a massive blast and fire at an Indian temple that claimed more than 100 lives.
Like thousands of others, his father had gone on Saturday night to the Hindu temple in southern Kerala state, renowned for its beaches and tranquil backwaters, to see the annual fireworks display.
But in the chaotic hours after the explosion that ripped through the Puttingal Devi complex, the increasingly desperate 32-year-old could find no trace of his father, Vishwanathan, and feared the worst.
"I don't know if he is alive or dead. All I want is to see him, we are ready for the worst but this search is painful," he told AFP after questioning ICU staff at a medical college hospital in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
"My father had gone to the festival with his friend. We were able to find the body of his friend but have yet to get any information on my father," the weary-looking Anoop said, before heading off to yet another hospital.
At hospitals, morgues and police stations, families are involved in a heartwrenching search for loved ones feared swept up in the blast that tore apart concrete buildings.
But the task is being made more difficult by the fact that some of the more than 100 people killed are unrecognisable. -
AFP 10:50(IST) Detained organisers questioned by police
TV news reports said that the five organisers who had been detained by the police are now being questioned by them.
A case has been registered against 30 people, including the Puttingal temple board members, according to
NDTV. 10:32(IST) Fire and rescue teams inspect tragedy site
ANI reports that fire and rescue teams are now inspecting the site of the tragedy which killed 112 people. 09:47(IST) Officials who had opposed the Kollam fireworks display were bullied
According to this report in
, Additional District Magistrate A Shanavas and District Collector A Shainamol, who were two of the officials who had denied permission for the fireworks display, were bullied and threatened by local politicians and Hindu groups. Indian Express
What is worse is that communal slurs were used against the two officials, who are Muslims.
“Once the order was issued, it was vetted by Collector Shainamol, so the pressure started mounting on her. A senior minister called her to demand a change in her stand and asked whether she really wanted to upset religious sentiments of a section to which she does not belong. Local Hindu groups also used it against the ruling party, and eventually, police and politicians decided to make the fireworks happen despite a ban,” the report quoted an officer as saying. 09:26(IST) Death toll climbs to 112
, the death toll has now risen to 112. The report further said that nearly 400 other people had been injured. The Times of India 09:18(IST)
Police inspecting tragedy site 08:58(IST) Puttingal Devi temple fire tragedy was the worst such tragedy in Kerala in the last 50 years
The Puttingal Devi temple fire mishap is one of the worst such tragedies witnessed by Kerala, where display of fireworks are an integral part of religious and cultural festivals.
Though cracker blasts, especially during religious festivals, are not new in the state, Sunday's tragedy is the worst in over last 50 years of the state's history.
The cracker blast at the premises of Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in 1952 had claimed at least 68 lives.
As many as 20 people had been killed in another cracker blast during a church festival in Thrissur district in 1984 and 26 people had died during a blast in the storehouse of crackers at a temple in Malanada in Kollam in 1990.
A cracker, which accidentally fell on spectators, claimed six lives in Thrissur in 1978.
Seven people had been killed during another explosion at the storehouse where firecrackers had been kept for the famous Thrissur Pooram festival in 2006. -
PTI 08:44(IST) Five temple organisers detained
CNN-IBN, five organisers of the fireworks display competition at the temple were detained by the police.
(Updates begin for 11 April) 19:03(IST) PM Modi addressed the media
After having reached the Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) Medical college with his team of doctors and taking stock of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the media. He said " I am very sadden by the incident. My sympathies are with the families of the deceased, my prayers with the injured"
He further added " The Indian government is with Kerala and the families in such times and will assist anyone who wants to be shifted to Mumbai or Delhi for any kind of treatment."
Speaking about the impact of the explosion, he said that people as far as 200 meters from the site were injured.
18:18(IST) One booked for storing fire crackers 10 times more than permitted limit
PTI, Attingal police said they have registered a case against the licensee, Surendran, who had stored about 150 kgs o crackers and fireworks material at the storehouse without valid permission.
Surendran had license to store only about 15 kg, police said "It is a clear violation of license. So far no arrest have been made," police told
PTI - PTI
Rahul Gandhi arrives in Kollam to take stock of the situation 17:31(IST)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at Kollam Hospital with a team of doctors. According to CNN IBN, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennitala said that the responsibility for the accident cannot be pinned on anybody without a juducial probe. 17:03(IST)
PM Modi reaches the Puttingal temple tragedy site 16:44(IST)
PM Modi reaches the Puttingal temple tragedy site 16:03(IST) Kerala government announces Rs. 10 lakh compensation for families of dead According to an IANS report the Kerala government on Sunday ordered a judicial probe into a temple fire tragedy here and announced Rs.10 lakh compensation to families of each of the dead. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced after a special cabinet meeting here that the Crime Branch of Kerala Police would also investigate the disaster at the Puttingal Devi temple in Peravur town.
He announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to the families of the dead, Rs.2 lakh to those seriously injured and Rs.50,000 to those who have suffered minor injuries.The state government will bear the expenses of medical treatment of the injured, he said.
Chandy was asked if there should a ban on festivities associated with religious institutions, to which he said " Many see these events emotionally as it is part of their culture and traditions. I don't think a ban is a practical way out. Instead, the best way is to bring about very strict guidelines and control events like this to see that safety is not compromised."
Meanwhile, police took into custody five staff members of the contractor Surendran and his son Umesh who were responsible for the fireworks display.
Surendran and Umesh are both admitted in the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. Surendran is in serious condition while Umesh has suffered 50 percent burns - IANS 15:54(IST)
After his arrival in Kollam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his way to Kollam Medical College, where injured persons have been admitted. Reports also say that he may visit the site of the tragedy later in the day. While most of the rubble has been moved out, a lot of wreckage is still remaining at the site; police officials and forensic experts are still present at the site as well.
Probe ordered by CM Chandy
PM Modi arrives in Kollam
15:26(IST) Here is a translation of the order that explicitly prohibited the use of fireworks at the temple festival Order In view of the situations mentioned above, based on the records available, and after considering the application from Paravaur Puttingal Devaswom Managing Committee (received on 9 April, 2016) to conduct/perform fireworks at temple premises and based on the subsequent investigation reports on the same, we are convinced that it was not fireworks that were planned in the temple but aggressive competition and hence, hereby, issue order rejecting the application. If this order is violated, due legal actions will be taken against the violators in accordance with the 2008 explosive Substances Act.
Additional District Magistrate
J Krishnankuttippilla Secretary, Paravaur Platingal Devaswam Managing Committee
Paravaur 15:09(IST) Will get report of judicial probe in 6 months: Chandy
Kerala CM Oommen Chandy said that the report for the judicial probe into the Kollak tragedy will be submitted in 6 months.
15:07(IST) 15:01(IST) Contradictory claims emerge on the issue of permission granted for fireworks display
Conflicting versions are emerging on permission being granted for conduct of fireworks display at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi temple complex.
While the office of Kollam District collector A Shainamol's office told
PTI that no permission was granted to conduct the fireworks display, local people claimed the ban was lifted later in the night.
They claimed a ban had been imposed on a complaint by one Pankajakshi, a resident near the temple complex against holding fireworks display.
Pankajakshi alleged that temple authorities had threatened her after the complaint was filed.
Local people in the area told
PTI that late at night, the ban was lifted following a 'mutual agreement'.
However, Kollam City Police commissioner P Prakash, said police did not given permission for the display of fireworks.
"The locals said they had received oral permission. The temple authority did not have the permission and we did not give them any permission," he said. -
PTI 14:55(IST) 14:52(IST) Puttingal temple top officials have gone missing
Top officials of the Puttingal Devi temple in Kerala have reportedly gone missing after the tragedy, police sources said, reported
A case has also been registered against the father-son duo of Surendran and Umesh who had organised the fireworks display. Both are being treated at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital.
Modi in Thiruvananthapuram 14:47(IST)
PM Modi arrives in Thiruvananthapuram 14:46(IST)
Ship carrying medical team arrives in Kollam 14:44(IST) Kerala govt orders crime branch probe into Kollam tragedy
As the Kerala cabinet meeting ended, CM Oomen Chandy addressed reporters and said that the government has ordered a crime branch probe into the Kollam tragedy. "We will get into all aspects of the case," he said.
He also said that a blanket ban on such fireworks display and festivals was not possible. "A blanket ban on such fireworks or such festivals is not possible. Stringent guidelines must be brought in and we must ensure that these stringent guidelines are followed," said the CM.
The Kerala government has announced Rs 10 lakh will be given to the families of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh will be given to the seriously injured and Rs 50000 will be given to those with minor injuries, reported
CNN-IBN. 14:33(IST) Death toll rises to 110
, the death toll in this tragedy has now climbed to 110. Xinhua 14:26(IST) Tremors caused by the explosion were felt even a kilometre away
At around 3.30 am, there was a massive explosion followed by tremors which were felt even a kilometre away from the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi temple near Kollam as a massive fire tragedy struck there.
This was the account of Girija who said such an incident had never occurred earlier.
Giving an account of her experience, Girija, whose house is situated about a kilometre away from the temple, said she felt tremors soon after a massive explosion.
Lalu, a television journalist who was watching the fireworks from the terrace of a nearby building, said the mishap occurred towards the end of the festivities.
"I saw a huge fireball and then a thundering sound. Electricity in the area went off and I heard people screaming. It was a very chilling experience," he said.
Lalu said he immediately rushed to the spot and found about 10-15 people dead.
The concrete building in which crackers and pyrotechnic materials were stocked was completely destroyed in the explosion which was so massive that cement slabs were found even 10 metres away from the accident spot, said 63-year-old Vijayan, an eyewitness. -
PTI 14:23(IST) Emergency Kerala cabinet meet begins
According to reports, the Kerala cabinet meeting on the Puttingal temple fire tragedy has begun.
14:07(IST) Kerala cabinet meet begins
According to reports, the Kerala cabinet meeting on the Puttingal temple fire tragedy has begun.
Extremely pained over the loss of lives: Rajnath 13:54(IST)
Visuals of INS Kabra and INS Kalpeni carrying medical supplies 13:47(IST)
Very sad to hear such tragic news: Kejriwal 13:45(IST)
Reactions from celebrities, sports players pouring in 13:39(IST) Our sympathies are with the bereaved families: Pakistan on the tragedy
Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement said that Pakistan "expresses its deep condolences on loss of precious lives, resulting from fire breakout in temple in South Kerala", according to
"Our sympathies are with the bereaved families. We wish early recovery to all injured people," said the Pakistan MoFA statement.
13:30(IST) Karnataka govt to provide support
Karnataka government said it would send a 10-member medical team with drugs and blood to Kollam in Kerala to provide relief to victims of the tragedy at Puttingal Devi temple complex.
"As an immediate relief measure, on the directions from the Chief Minister, we have decided to send in a medical team, medicines and blood to Kerala," Health Minister UT Khader told reporters.
He said state government officials are in touch with Kerala and the Central government and that the government would be sending additional help, based on the requirements.
The team will comprise doctors and paramedical staff.
Khader said, "We are ready to send more specialist doctors and counsellors after getting to know about the ground situation from the Kerala officials." -
PTI 13:24(IST) Spoke to Kerala CM, Centre providing all help: Rajnath
"It is a very tragic incident. I talked to the Kerala CM Oommen Chandy. I assured him that whatever is required is being done by the central government," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh. "He told us that two helicopters were needed. NDRF teams have also been placed on alert. PM decided to visit the place to take stock of the situation."
"I offer condolences to the victims. I hope that those injured recover fast," said the Home Minister.
13:16(IST) Post-mortem will be carried out: Chandy
Oommen Chandy also said that post-mortem will be carried out expeditiously so that the bodies are handed over to their kin at the earliest.
Asked whether any action will be taken against temple authorities for conducting the display of fireworks since the authorities had denied permission for it, the Chief Minister said a decision regarding this will be taken at a Cabinet meeting to be held shortly. -
Deeply shaken by Kollam tragedy: Tejashwi Yadav 13:06(IST)
Fireworks must be controlled: Shekhar Kapur 13:05(IST)
Instructed the Chief Controller of Explosives (PESO) to rush to Kollam: Nirmala Sitharaman 12:54(IST) Coast Guard team on its way to Kollam to donate blood
An additional team of the Indian Coast Guard is now on its way to Kollam to donate blood, reported
ANI. 12:53(IST) We are giving best medical treatment: Kerala CM
"Sufficient medical facilities are here. We are giving best medical care to all persons," said Kerala CM Oommen Chandy. "Central government has already offered all types of assistance," he added.
"Police, fire brigade and the people did a commendable job in the relief and rescue efforts," he said.
Kerala CM at tragedy site 12:48(IST)
Politicians, celebrities express condolences 12:39(IST) Here is the letter which denied permission for fireworks at the temple
Firstpost correspondent Sandhya Ravishankar, the festival honouring the Bhadrakali deity in the Paravur temple has been going on for almost a century. Bursting fireworks on the last few days of the festival is a local custom. It is a 10-day festival and is very popular. People from Coimbatore and other areas of Tamil Nadu too throng here.
For the past four years, local residents living close to the temple had complained about fireworks, saying their homes were getting damaged. Earlier this year, before the festival began, they formed a Resident Committee and approached the District Collector. This petition was forwarded to Tahsildar. Permission was denied for fireworks in the temple but it went ahead anyway. 80% of the houses nearby were destroyed. Luckily, no one was present in these houses. They usually go stay with relatives elsewhere during the festival season as it is too much of a disturbance for them.
12:36(IST) Kerala cabinet to meet at 1 pm to decide what kind of probe is needef
"There will not be anything left behind to give proper treatment to people," said Kerala CM Oommen Chandy. He also said that at 1 pm, the cabinet will decide what type of investigation is needed into the Kollam temple fire tragedy.
When tragedies are struck by human apathy, it makes it so much more painful: Dia Mirza 12:24(IST)
Kerala CM Oommen Chandy arrives in Kollam 12:22(IST) Here's what exactly happened at the temple
According to this
report in , a massive fireworks display takes place every year during Vishnu celebrations at the Puttingal temple in Kollam. The News Minute
This old tradition is supposed to be a visual treat for the people and thousands of people gather at the temple every year to watch the fireworks.
The report added that it is not just a fireworks display but also a competition in which judges watch the fireworks and declare a winner every year.
This fireworks face-off takes place between two groups of people. "The competition is to see whose fireworks are more grand, the explosions louder and the sights magnificent," the report said.
The report added that between 3 and 3.30 am, one of th fireworks called '
amittu' fell on the ground and the sparks spread to other fireworks and caused an explosion. 12:13(IST) IAF's Business Boeing jets leave for Thiruvananthapuram
ANI also reported that two Business Boeing jets of the Indian Air Force carrying medical teams have left from New Delhi for Thiruvananthapuram. 12:12(IST) Four IAF helicopters reach Thiruvananthapuram
Four IAF helicopters have reached Thiruvananthapuram and are ready for rescue and relief efforts, according to
ANI. Two AN32 aircraft will also take two NDRF teams from Arakkonam. 12:09(IST) All BJP workers condole loss of lives in this incident: Amit Shah in Kerala
"Today, a very unfortunate incident took place. A lot of people died in the mishap. A lot of people are still struggling for their lives. I visited some hospitals. I discussed the condition of the people who are injured with the doctors. All BJP workers condole the loss of lives in this incident. We pray for those struggling for their lives," BJP president Amit Shah said.
Kerala govt has decided to order judicial probe: Congress 12:01(IST) Kerala CM confirms that 102 people have been killed
PTI, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy said, "102 persons are confirmed dead in Kollam temple fire mishap, at least 280 have been injured." 11:56(IST) Visuals from the accident site
(Image courtesy: Sandhya Ravishankar, Vineeth Nair Photography)
11:54(IST) Visuals from the accident site
(Image courtesy: Sandhya Ravishankar, Vineeth Nair Photography)
11:50(IST) Will reach Kollam in around 45 minutes: Nadda
"We have told the state government that we will provide all possible support. A team of doctors from AIIMS will be sent. Doctors who are specialists in burn injuries and plastic surgeries will be sent. All types of medicines will be provided. The air force helicopters have been put into service. Medical team of navy is there in service," Union Health Minister JP Nadda told
"I will reach Kollam in around 45 minutes," Nadda further said.
President condoles loss of lives 11:31(IST) Helpline numbers
Here are the helpline numbers for the temple fire tragedy: 0474 2512344, 9497960778, 9497930869. Blood donors are needed at the hospitals for the injured.
Firstpost correspondent Sandhya Ravishankar spoke to Kerala DGP TP Senkumar who told her that 98 people are dead and 337 people are injured. 11:25(IST) 11:16(IST)
PM Modi to leave for Kerala shortly 11:11(IST) Take ruthless action against those responsible: AK Antony
"I am really shocked. The central government, state government and everyone should work together to engange in massive rehabilitation and relief efforts," former Kerala CM AK Antony told
"Secondly, there should be an inquiry. Ruthless action should be taken against those responsible. I request everyone not to politicise this issue," AK Antony further said.
11:04(IST) Rahul Gandhi to visit Kollam temple
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit the Puttingal temple in Kollam, according to
ANI. 11:00(IST) Sonia Gandhi expresses grief
Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the temple fire tragedy.
"Praying for the departed souls and well being of the injured,"
PTI quoted her as saying. She has asked the state government to ensure ample and immediate relief measures. 10:54(IST) The whole area had plunged into darkness: Eyewitness
The sound of the explosion could be heard over a km radius and the whole area plunged into darkness as the power supply went off and people ran helter skelter, eyewitnesses said. -
PTI 10:52(IST) Details of case against temple authorities
Police sources said a case has been registered against temple authorities under section 307 (Attempt to murder), and 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide) of IPC and under section 4 of Explosives Substances Act. -
PTI 10:50(IST) INS Kabra, INS Kalpeni being sailed to Kollam ANI reported that INS Kabra and INS Kalpeni are being sailed to Kollam with medical stores. INS Sunayna will also be sailed to the site a while later.
Moreover, a Dornier and two Chetaks have also been deployed for rescue efforts by the Navy.
10:46(IST) There were body parts all over the place: Witness
"There were body parts all over the place," witness Anita Prakash told
CNN-IBN. "In the past, there have been fireworks but never at this level. We intend to complain to the collector," she added. 10:39(IST)
The Prime Minister is taking a team of doctors specialising in treating burn injuries along with him.
Modi will be directly landing in the town where the mishap took place.
All protocol including the Governor and the Chief Minister receiving the Prime Minster at the helipad has been waived. -
PTI 10:37(IST) 15 people out of the injured are critical
15 out of the over 350 people injured are critical, according to
Times Now. The death toll is expected to rise. 10:29(IST) Death toll rises to 102
According to reports, the death toll has now climbed to 102.
also reported that over 350 people have been injured. The Hindu 10:28(IST)
Rushing to the site of fire tragedy: JP Nadda 10:23(IST)
Visuals of the accident site 10:18(IST) Andhra CM expresses shock and grief
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock and grief over the temple fire in Kollam in Kerala that has claimed over 80 lives so far.
Naidu, in a statement, said it was very unfortunate that such a grave mishap occurred in a temple.
Condoling the deaths, he prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured in the incident and extended sympathies to the bereaved families. -
PTI 10:14(IST) FIR filed against temple authorities
Times Now, an FIR has now been filed against the temple authorities.
"We hope a detailed inquiry will be conducted. It is a matter of investigation," said Congress leader Manish Tewari. "There is a strong case to go into the reasons why this tragedy took place. Whoever is responsible should be punished."
10:07(IST) PM Modi announces compensation for the family of the deceased and the injured
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 2 lakh each as compensation for the kin of the dead in the Kollam temple fire, reported
He also announced Rs 50,000 each for the injured in the tragedy.
Expressing deep anguish and shock over the disaster, he directed the Indian Air Force to ferry the injured to hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram for treatment.
10:04(IST) 10,000 people had been present at the spot when the explosion took place
According to this
, officials said that over 10,000 people were present at the ground next to the temple to watch the fireworks display. NDTV report 10:02(IST) Kerala cabinet meet to take place at 3 pm
ANI, CM Oommen Chandy has convened an urgent cabinet meeting at 3 pm in Kollam. 10:01(IST) Why didn't the District Collector and SP take action? asks Congress leader Tom Vadakkan
"I am told that the District Collector has said that there was no permission for the fireworks display. Wasn't it the duty of the District Collector and the SP to take action?" said Congress leader Tom Vadakkan.
"They have filed an FIR. They knew that this temple had been overcrowded. Wasn't it the duty of the District Collector and the SP to act immediately? So many lives were lost. Today, we face a human tragedy," he further said.
09:46(IST) We will conduct detailed probe into the incident: Kerala Home Minister
"This is one of the most tragic incidents in the country. We ar 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
"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.
News of fire at Puttingal temple extremely shocking: Rahul Gandhi 09:36(IST) The explosion had sent huge chunks of concrete flying as far as a kilometre away
The fire started when a spark from a fireworks show ignited a separate batch of fireworks that were being stored at the Puttingal temple complex, according to
. Thousands had been packed into the temple complex when a big explosion erupted around 3 am, officials said. The blaze then spread quickly through the temple, trapping devotees within. Associated Press
Local TV channels broadcast images of huge clouds of white smoke billowing from the temple, as fireworks were still going off in the night sky. Successive explosions from the building storing the fireworks sent huge chunks of concrete flying as far as a kilometre (a half mile), according to resident Jayashree Harikrishnan.
"Huge pieces of concrete were flying through the air. Chunks landed in our yard," she said.
09:34(IST) Kerala Home Minister reaches tragedy site
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has reached the site of the accident.
09:29(IST) 245 persons in hospital, rescue operations are over: Kerala CM
"A very sad incident took place near Kollam. 245 persons have been admitted in hospital. Rescue operations are over. We are focusing on giving treatment to all the injured," Kerala CM Oommen Chandy told
"We have asked all doctors to join duty today. Prime Minister contacted me and assured all help from the central government," he added.
09:18(IST) Police, fire brigade at the spot
Police, disaster management teams and fire brigade are at the tragedy site for rescue and relief efforts.
09:17(IST) Amit Shah cancels rally in Kerala
Times Now reported that Amit Shah has cancelled his scheduled rally in Kerala. 09:16(IST) Rules flouted at Puttingal temple
CNN-IBN, these are the ways in which the Puttingal temple flouted rules with respect to the fireworks display:
1. Fireworks yard was not secured to porevent sparks.
2. Complaints of locals was not taken seriously.
3. Stipulated 100 metres distance was not kept between fireworks site and godown.
09:12(IST) PM to reach Kollam at around 3.30 pm
CNN-IBN, PM Narendra Modi will reach Kollam at around 3.30 pm. 09:10(IST) Rescue operations by Air Force underway
Four helicopters including Mi-17 and ALH from Sulur, Coimbatore are being used in the rescue efforts, according to
ANI. 09:06(IST) Four NDRF teams on stand by in Chennai: NDRF DG
ANI reported that OP Singh, NDRF DG, said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh had directed him to extend all possible support. He added that four NDRF teams are on stand by in Chennai. 09:04(IST)
Will be reaching Kerala soon: PM Modi 09:00(IST) We're giving all possible support: Kerala Health Minister
"The Kollam District Collector is convening a meeting of police officers. After that, we will decide on post-mortem and other things," said Kerala Health Minister VS Sivakumar. "83 injured people have been admitted to Trivandrum medical college and 13 dead bodies have been brought here," he added.
Over 80 people were killed and several others injured when an explosion took place at the Puttingal Devi temple during a festival at Paravoor in Kollam at around 3 am on Sunday, police said.
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.
Many people were killed after an explosion took place at the Puttingal temple in Kollam, Kerala. AP
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.
Men, women and police officials are among the dead, they said.
Fifty of the injured have been rushed to Trivandrum Medical College in the state capital and five persons died after being brought there.
Nearly 200 people got injured in the mishap and have been admitted to various hospitals in the district and nearby Thiruvananthapuram, police said.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy termed as "unprecedented" and "alarming" the situation at the Puttingal Devi temple.
Chandy, who cancelled all his scheduled poll programmes, is on his way to the accident site.
"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
Asked about the death toll, the Chief Minister said the number would go up as reports are pouring in from different hospitals, where the injured have been admitted.
"This is an unprecedented and alarming situation," Chandy said.
The government would extend treatment facilities to the injured persons in the hospitals preferred by their relatives, he said.
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.
State Health Minister VS Sivakumar said directives have been issued to hospital authorities to make necessary arrangements for the injured.
State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said Director General of Police (DGP) Senkumar is monitoring the rescue operations.
"A comprehensive probe will be conducted into the incident. Adequate compensation would be given to the victims of the accident after consulting with the Election Commission," Chennithala said.
Local media reports quoting Kollam district authorities say the temple authorities ignored warnings issued against holding a huge firework in the area vulnerable to such accident.
District Collector Shinamol, who visited the spot, said evacuation and rescue operations were going on full-swing. People trapped in the concrete structure, which was completely destroyed in the mishap, were taken out, police said.
Eye witnesses told television channels that the accident took place at 3.30 am.
The sound of the explosion in the store-room was heard in around two-km radius of the temple, they said.
(With inputs from PTI)