Sunday, April 10, 2016 6:17 am
No fewer than 100 people, including some policemen, were killed and 250 injured in a major fire caused by festive firework at the famous Puttingal Devi temple in Paravur, Kollam of the southern Indian state Kerala early Sunday morning, said police.
The fire broke out at around 03:00 a.m. local time when people were celebrating with fireworks and crackers which engulfed part of the temple premises, which were full of people.
Officials said a spark ignited a separate pile of crackers and pyrotechnics that were stored at the temple complex.
Thousands of people were packed into the temple when the explosion was heard at around 3 am. The blaze then spread quickly through the building, trapping people inside.
The fire has been put under control by firemen and injured rushed to hospital, officials said.
TV footages showed huge amount of bomb like crackers were being used at the fire display, a traditional activity of the temple, known for its unique architectural style and special for women worshippers.
State officials said a probe has been launched into the accident, whose casualties was said to be unprecedented in the state, one of the most developed and wealthiest in India famous for its tourist attractions.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the disaster was “heartrending and shocking beyond words” and his thoughts and prayers were going to the victims of the inferno. He is scheduled to visit the disaster site today.