Kollam: A massive fire broke out into Puttingal temple at Paravaur in Kollam district of Kerala early Sunday that left at least 100 people charred to death while over 350 were injured.
According to reports, the fire could have been caused due to a blast in the firework stockpile, readied for the temple celebrations.
As per the reports, the District Magistrate had denied permission to the temple to organise the fireworks citing safety norms. The area is said to be densely populated and thus, the location wasn't not suitable enough to hold any kind of firework display. However despite being denied permission for the firework display, the temple authorities decided to go ahead with the competitive fireworks program, thereby not thinking twice before putting lives at risk.
Some 15,000 people were said to be present at the ground near the Puttingal temple to watch the spectacular firework show, when the fire broke out a little after 3 am.
Local media reports quoting Kollam district authorities said that the temple authorities ignored warnings issued against holding a huge firework in the area vulnerable to such accident.
According to another report, the firecrackers were stocked in an open space at the temple premises. During the celebratory firework, one of the crackers fell into the heap of firecrackers, readied for the celebration, which led to a series of explosion one after the other. The fire spread soon after and engulfed the entire area.
One of the eye-witnesses, who was present when the mishap took place, said, the devotees were standing very close to site when the fireworks were taking place. Besides, there was no arrangement from the temple authorities to secure the firework yard.
It is to be noted that there is a district level ban on pyrotechnics at temples but these are held on the basis of temporary permits annually. Such permits are given on religious tradition grounds.