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Fire kills over 100 in Kerala


04-11-2016 09:38 BJT

A massive fire swept through a temple in southern India Sunday, killing more than 100 people and injuring more than 300. The victims had gathered for a fireworks display to mark the start of the local Hindu new year.

Thousands of devotees had gathered at the Kollam District Puttingal Devi temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala to mark the Hindu new year. Eyewitnesses say the fireworks display had gotten underway but turned disastrous when a lit cracker fell into a shed storing extra supplies. The magnitude of the tragedy can be seen from the thousands of people that have seen gathered at the temple to pay their respects.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Kollam with a team of doctors to help state authorities cope with the large numbers of injured people.

This is not the first time such an incident has happened in the state of Kerala. Here, there are many temples managed by rich trusts. These temples often compete with each other to hold the best fireworks show.

Reports suggest that local authorities had not granted permission for the fireworks display, but the temple flouted the rules, leading to this tragedy.

In Kerala, the state where the temple is situated, elections are due to be held soon This tragedy led to a massive number of politicians visiting the site of the tragedy. The Indian central government also ordered the military to help Kerala state authorities interact with two navy ships sailing to Kollam with medical supplies.The Puttingal temple is one of the oldest in the state. It was built on an ant hill where locals believe a goddess appeared centuries ago.

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