110 Killed, 280 In­jured in Ker­ala Tem­ple Fire­works Tragedy

PM an­nounces .₹ 2 lakh com­pen­sa­tion for the next of kin of dead, .₹ 50,000 to the in­jured

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Our Bu­reau

Kochi: In one of the worst ac­ci­dents of its kind in the state, 110 peo­ple were killed and nearly 280 in­jured in a huge ex­plo­sion in a tem­ple com­plex, near Kol­lam on Sun­day morn­ing. The ex­plo­sion hap­pened when sparks from the fire­work dis­play or­gan­ised by the tem­ple landed on the build­ing where the fire crack­ers where stored.

The ac­ci­dent, which oc­cured around 3 am at at the Put­tin­gal Devi Tem­ple Com­plex at Par­avoor dest- royed the store house and dam­aged the tem­ple and nearby houses.

Po­lice have reg­is­tered a case against the tem­ple au­thor­i­ties and the ex­plo­sive li­censees. It has been brought to light that the Kol­lam Dis­trict Col­lec­tor had de­nied per­mis­sion to the tem­ple au­thor­i­ties to hold com­pet­i­tive fire­work dis­play. A spe­cial Cab­i­net meet­ing held at Kol­lam on Sun­day noon de­cided to hold a ju­di­cial in­quiry. Re­tired jus­tice Kr­ish­nan Nair will be con­duct the probe. The time frame for the in­quiry has been fixed as six months. A crime branch probe into the in­ci­dent will be con­ducted by ADGP Anan­thakr­ish­nan. The state gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a com­pen­sa­tion of .₹ 10 lakh for the next of kin of the dead. The gov­ern­ment would give .₹ 2 lakh to the peo­ple with se­ri­ous in­juries and .₹ 50,000 to those with mi­nor in­juries. The state gov­ern­ment will bear the treat­ment ex­penses of the in­jured, Chief Min­is­ter Oom­men Chandy said. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, who vis­ited the ac­ci­dent site and the hos­pi­tals where the in­jured are un­der­go­ing treat- ment, de­scribed the in­ci­dent as “shock­ing”. The Prime Min­is­ter de­clared that a com­pen­sa­tion of .₹ 2 lakh for the next of kin of the dead and .₹ 50,000 to the in­jured. In the morn­ing, a navy air­craft and two naval ships car­ry­ing medicines and other es­sen­tial ar­ti­cles reached Kol­lam. Due to the co­or­di­nated ef­forts of the cen­tral and state govern­ments, air am­bu­lances were ar­ranged to trans­port the se­ri­ously in­jured to bet­ter hos­pi­tals.

The Prime Min­is­ter held dis­cus­sions with Chief Min­is­ter Oom­men Chandy in the af­ter­noon. Union Health Min­is­ter J P Nadda will camp at Kol­lam to co­or­di­nate the re­lief oper­a­tions. BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah and Congress vi­cepres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi also vis­ited the ac­ci­dent site.

The ma­jor po­lit­i­cal fronts in the state sus­pended elec­tion work with al­most all lead­ers reach­ing the ac­ci­dent site to co­or­di­nate re­lief work. Lead­ers like A K Antony and the CPI(M) state sec­re­tary Kodiy­eri Balakr­ish­nan de­manded that the in­ci­dent should be de­clared as a na­tional tragedy.

PM Naren­dra Modi at Put­tin­gal Devi Tem­ple com­plex in Kol­lam

PTI

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