Kollam temple fire: Police arrests 13 as Kerala HC calls for CBI inquiry into the blaze

Two days after the fireworks tragedy at Puttingal Devi temple in Paravur in Kollam that left at least 116 people dead and more than 380 injured, the police on Tuesday recorded the arrest of 13 temple officials as the Kerala High Court said that a CBI inquiry should be launched into the tragedy.

Thirteen persons, including members of the managing commitee of the Puttingal Devi Temple, were today arrested in connection with the fireworks mishap there in which 110 people have died, police said.

The arrested included seven members of the managing committee and six workers of the two contractors, who carried out the fireworks display on the final day of the seven-day long festival early Sunday.

The arrests were made by the police after day-long questioning, sources said.

In a dramatic move, the temple trust's President Jayalal, Secretary J Krishnankutty and members Shivaprasad, Surendran Pillai, Ravindran Pillai had surrendered before the Crime Branch police in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Two other managing committee members Srendranathan Pillai and Murugesan were picked by police here this morning.

Other six workers of the two contractors who carried out the fireworks disply were also picked by police after the accident.

A Crime Branch probe into the fire tragedy is currently underway.

A file photo of police personnel at the site of the fire in Kollam. Image courtesy/Firstpost

A file photo of police personnel at the site of the fire in Kollam. Image courtesy/Firstpost


According to reports, authorities in Kollam on Tuesday began taking steps to conduct DNA tests on unclaimed bodies as 21 people remained missing after the tragedy. Officials said the health department had told the family members of those missing to reach Kollam on Wednesday.

They have been asked to bring identity proof of the missing ones and provide samples of their blood at a special counter at the Kollam district hospital. While the Kerala government informed the court that fireworks were not allowed to be taken inside the temple premises, the High Court questioned how the police could have permitted the inflammable substances inside, ANI reported.

The court also directed the police and the district administration to submit a separate affidavit on the incident, saying strict action needs to be taken against those involved for "dereliction of duty". Besides temple authorities, the court also held the revenue department responsible for the mishap.

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Updated Date: Apr 12, 2016 19:15:27 IST

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