Hours after the fire tragedy at Paravur Puttingal Devi temple in Kerala’s Kollam district in the wee hours of April 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the temple premises and took stock of the situation.
Describing the fire tragedy here as “unimaginable”, PM Modi assured Kerala government and its people all help in the hour of crisis. “This tragedy is very painful. The extent of the tragedy is unimaginable and such dreadful,” he said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala took the Prime Minister around the temple precincts and briefed him on the incident.
The Prime Minister, who spent around 10 minutes at the spot, also saw the concrete bars, twisted wires and cables. Later talking to reporters, Chennithala said the Prime minister had enquired about the unidentified bodies and said DNA tests should be done if necessary.
Earlier, PM Modi directed IAF and Navy to divert all helicopters in the command for ferrying injured to major hospitals in nearby cities.
PM Modi has also announced Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia compensation to the family of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured in the Kollam temple fire accident.
He said in tweets:
Over 105 people have been killed and 350 were injured in a massive fire that broke out during a fireworks display at the Puttingal temple in Kollam on April 10 morning.
The fire started around 3 am at a ground next to the temple packed with 10,000 to 15,000 people watching an all-night fireworks display.
Eyewitnesses said that the fireworks display started close to midnight and when nearing its close, a spark from a cracker landed in a building that had stored some high potency crackers and it caught fire causing a massive explosion.