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Above 100 people died and over 400 were injured when explosion occurred at a stockpile of firecrackers setting ablaze temple premises in Paravur, under Kollam municipality. As part of a seven-day festival held annually, which is adorned by lavish fireworks display, the temple is said to have gone off with its rituals casting a blind eye towards the safety hazards. The district administration claims to have prohibited the temple authorities against this, but they refused to oblige, throwing all precautions to the air. Kerala, which houses over thousands of ancient temples is known to preserve age-old customary rituals. Unfortunately, what occurred yesterday accosted several lives. According to locals at around 3:30 a.m. the catastrophe took place, leaving one building close to the temple gutted in the fire and also many houses in the surrounding area badly damaged. Spectators and onlookers were immediately engulfed in the fire. All celebrations turned into a nightmare as screams started pouring in.

National Disaster Response Force and the navy personnel were immediately rushed to the spot and relief operations have been running since yesterday night. By morning all victims were claimed to have been pulled out of the spot. The Chief Minister of the state has ordered an immediate inquiry and judicial probe into the matter. Such was the impact of the fire, that some victims could hardly be distinguished and identified. Most burn victims sustained 70% injuries. The survivors were immediately rushed to Thiruvanthapuram.

The temple where the mishap took place known as the Devi Temple is over 500 years old . Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here with a team of expert doctors from AIIMS and assured the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy all necessary aid to fight the tragedy. Prince William and the Duchess Catherine who are currently on a tour in India also expressed their condolences for the victims.


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