Pune Keralites will be extending their help to the Kollam tragedy by sending a team of medical doctors to Kerala to help the injured in the Puttingal temple fire. Expressing shock over the tragedy, Pune Malayalee Association member K Harinarayan said that they are in touch with all the organisations to check for relatives of the victims and whether anyone is from Pune.
At least 107 people were killed and hundreds admitted to hospitals in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram after a massive fire broke out during fireworks at the temple. Harinarayan said that they would make an appeal to the chief minister of Kerala to stop such fireworks during such festivals.
“Many temples have such festivities and it needs to be stopped. Only some exhibitory fireworks should be permitted. The organisers should also avoid using elephants who have to bear the increasing heat wave conditions during these festivals,’’ Harinarayan said. A note will be readied and forwarded to the Kerala CM on the issue, he added.
“We want to request the government to ban the use of such high explosives at all religious functions and temples, as well as use of elephants,’’ Harinarayan further said. Association members have planned to visit the accident site and hospitals and extend their help to their fellow Malayalees.
The tragedy occurred during Meenabharani celebrations at the temple where fireworks are used to provide a visual treat to devotees. A massive display of fireworks was put up which sees thousands of people assemble at the temple grounds to witness the spectacle. It is also believed that there is a fireworks face-off between different clubs every year.