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Kerala temple fire LIVE: HC bans fireworks from sunset to sunrise, wants govt’s response on CBI probe

The incident took place at the 500-year-old Devi Temple at Puttingal of Paravur municipality in Kollam, located around 70 km from the state capital, where a fireworks show is part of the annual festival.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 12, 2016 4:03:25 pm
kerala, kerala temple fire, kollam paravoor, kollam temple fire, Paravoor temple explosion, Paravur temple fire, kerala temple fire updates, india news, kerala news, latest news A man walks past damaged structures at the spot where a massive fire broke out during a fireworks display at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village, Kollam district, Kerala state Monday, April 11, 2016. (Source: AP)

A total of seven officer bearers from Puttingal Devi temple surrendered before the Kerala Crime Branch on Tuesday. Five officers had surrendered earlier on Tuesday morning.

Earlier on Monday, Kerala Police detained five people who were involved in conducting the firework display after a huge fire broke out at Puttingal temple at Paravaur (Kollam District), Kerala early Sunday morning. At least 108 people were killed and over a hundred injured. The fire took place at around 3.30 am.

Read | Temple counted on election politics for OK, Kollam officials bullied with communal slur

The incident took place at the 500-year-old Devi Temple at Puttingal of Paravur municipality in Kollam, located around 70 km from the state capital, where a fireworks show is part of the annual festival. The toll is likely to go up as at least two dozen victims are critically injured.

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Watch: Video Of Temple Fire In Kollam, Kerala (Click here)

The temple authorities had gone ahead with the show despite denial of permission by the district administration for the fireworks display, on safety grounds.

Read | Temple ignores ban, fireworks show leaves over 100 dead, 400 injured

Emergency numbers: 0474-2512344, 9497930863, 9497960778

PHOTOS: Kerala temple fire, over 100 dead


4.00 pm: The Kerala High Court has banned the use of sound-making fireworks from sunset to sunrise. It has also sought a response from the Kerala government on whether a CBI probe should be ordered into the incident that left over a 100 people dead.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

11:00 am: Around 20 people are involved, this number can even go up, says TF Xavier,SP(Crime)

10:55 am: Two more officials of the Temple Trust surrender before the Kerala Crime Branch.

10:30 am: Kerala CM Oommen Chandy calls all-party meet on April 14 in the backdrop of demand for banning fireworks in temples.

7:05 am: Five office bearers of Puttingal Devi temple surrendered this morning: Police

7:10 pm: The National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the Kerala Chief Secretary and top officials of Kollam district seeking their reports in four weeks.

6:00 pm: A senior Kerala High Court Judge suggested that the use of high decibel fire crackers must be banned at all Kerala temples and sought immediate judicial intervention by the court to stop “man-made” tragedies like Kollam mishap. (Read more)

5:52 pm: NHRC issues notice to the Government of Kerala on tragedy (Read more)

4:52 pm: Devaswom bench to hear the complain tomorrow after Kerala HC’s registrar referred the complain to the bench.

4:48 pm: A judge writes to Kerala HC Registrar to ban high decibel firecrackers in the state.

3:45 pm: 3 cars with explosives found near Kerala’s Puttingal temple. Owners of the cars are identified as SS Thushara, Surendran KL & Stalin Almeda.

 3:19 pm: “There seems to be a gross violation of explosives norms”, Chief Controller of Explosives, Sudarshan Kamal, in charge of monitoring use, storage and licensing of explosives, told reporters after visiting the accident site today.

1:23 pm: Police secured three abandoned cars with explosives near the Kollam fire accident spot, experts to diffuse them

WATCH| Kerala Temple Fire: Toll Rises To 109, Six Persons Booked

12:50 pm: Chief Controller of Explosives Sudarshan Kamal at the site

12:05 pm: Death toll rises to 109 and 383 people injured, confirms Kerala CMO.

11:50 am: Kollam District Collector blames local police, wants to know how report changed (Read more)

10:45 am: A 7 member team led by Sudarshan Kamal (Chief Controller Explosives) inspects the site of Kollam temple fire tragedy. On Sunday morning, MoS Nirmala Sitharaman had directed Kamal to inspect the site.

10:34 am: Death toll rises to 108 with two more persons succumbing to injuries in hospitals this morning.

10:33 am: Fire and rescue team inspects the site of #Kollam temple fire tragedy.

10:30 am: Indian-origin British MP Virendra Sharma has expressed condolences over fire tragedy.

9:33 am: Death toll in Kollam temple tragedy stands at 107: Kerala Home Ministry sources.

9:25 am: The Kerala Crime Branch is expected to start its probe into the temple fire on Monday. The Kerala Cabinet, which met in Kollam on Sunday afternoon, had decided in favour of a composite probe with a judicial inquiry and a crime branch investigation. The judicial inquiry is headed by former judge Justice N Krishnan Nair, while ADGP Ananthakrishnan will head the crime branch probe.

9:10 am: Police inspect the accident site

8.10 am: Kerala Police on Monday detained at least five people who were involved in conducting the fireworks show at the temple in the wee hours of Sunday.

7. 40 am, Monday, April 11: Top officials ‘bullied’ by politicians

Top sources in the Kerala Secretariat and the Kollam District Collectorate said that both Additional District Magistrate A Shanavas and District Collector A Shainamol, who were instrumental in denying permission for the fireworks, were bullied and threatened by local politicians and Hindu groups, with communal motives attributed to their actions. Both Shanavas and Shainamol are Muslims. Read  more here.

Updates for Sunday end

11: 52 pm: Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who commenced their maiden visit to India on Sunday also offered condolences over the fire tragedy.

11: 19 pm: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called PM Modi  late Sunday evening to offer his condolences to the victims of the Kollam temple tragedy.

PM Modi thanked Pakistani prime minister and expressed his deep condolences on loss of life and damage due to the earthquake in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

10:00 pm Congress President Sonia Gandhi has asked Oommen Chandy to ensure that guilty in the Puttingal Devi Temple fire tragedy are immediately brought to book. Gandhi wrote to Chandy, “Providing medical relief, financial assistance and bringing the guilty to book immediately, will, I am sure, be a priority, and will be ensured without delay.”

8:00 pm: Putin expressed condolences to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Kremlin press service reported. The Russian President conveyed words of sympathy and support to the families and friends of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.

7: 40 pm:

7:30 pm: The Congress Vice President addresses the media after meeting the injured in Kollam.

7: 13 pm: Rahul Gandhi reaches Kollam hospital to meet those injured.

6:53 pm:

6:44 pm: Asserting that the Center is willing to provide all support, PM Modi offered to shift the patients in need to Mumbai or Delhi.

6:43 pm: 

6:35 pm: PM Modi reaches Thiruvananthapuram Medical College to meet the injured. Kerala Governor and BJP leader Sreesanth join him.

6:25 pm: Ships carrying medical supplies and medical teams dock at the Kollam harbour.

6:20 pm: State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Congress leader accompany Rahul Gandhi as he inspects the site of today’s incident.

6:00 pm: Rahul Gandhi reaches Puttingal temple.

5:30 pm: Rahul Gandhi arrives in Kollam to meet the families affected by the tragic fire.

5:29 pm:

5:25 pm:

5:19 pm: The Prime Minister visited the Kollam district hospital to see the injured people.

kerala, kerala temple fire, kollam paravoor, kollam temple fire, Puttingal Devi temple fire, Paravur temple fire, kerala temple fire updates, india news, kerala news, latest news PM Modi with Kerala CM Oommen Chandy at Kollam district hospital. (Source: Twitter/PMOIndia)

4:50 pm: PM Modi reaches Puttingal temple with CM Oommen Chandy. Together they take stock of the situation. (Read more)

4:40 pm: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat described today’s incident as “highly shocking and painful” in a joint statement released by him and his deputy Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi.

3:30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kollam to the victims of today’s tragedy. He was greeted by Oommen Chandy upon arrival.

3:00 pm Kerala CM announces ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh to kin of each of those killed in fire tragedy, Rs 2 lakh for seriously injured.

2:56 pm: Death toll in the fire increases to 107.

2:50 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy chaired a cabinet meeting in Kollam to order a probe led by Crime Branch ADGP A Ananthakrishnan. The local police in Kollam have already registered a case, which would be handed over to the crime branch.

The Chief Minister also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh to kin of each of those killed in fire tragedy, Rs 2 lakh for seriously injured. (Read more)

2. 35 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Air India One has landed in Thiruvananthapuram. He will head straight to the medical college where those injured in today’s fire are being treated. A team of about 15 doctors including burn specialists accompanied the PM and will be assisting at the hospitals.

2.20 pm: MoS Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman has said she has instructed Chief Controller of Explosives (PESO) to rush to Kollam site to check on legal and illegal storage and use of firecrackers, explosives.

1.05 pm: Here’s the Navy’s sitrep

12. 45 pm: Speaking to reporters on his arrival in Kollam, Chandy said sufficient medical facilities were available, and that the government was providing best medical care to all the injured. “Meeting state cabinet today, we will discuss and then take a decision on judicial probe. The central government has already offered medical assistance, but we’re fully equipped, arrangements are good,” Chandy said.

12.22 pm: Indian Navy’s dornier aircraft has arrived in Kollam

12.05 pm: BJP chief Amit Shah arrived in Thiruvananthapuram and visited the injured at the medical hospital. He also announced the government’s compensation package that PM Modi had tweeted about earlier.

12.00 pm: The Kerala government has ordered a judicial probe into the fire incident, saying anyone found injured will not be spared.

11.25 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Kerala

A team of doctors are also travelling with PM Modi

11.12 am: The death toll has increased to 105, over 300 are injured

10. 52 am: Manorama News reports that the fireworks contractor is among the injured. He is reportedly a resident of Kazhakootam in Thiruvananthapuram district.

10.50 am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi offered his condolences: “News of the devastating fire at Puttingal temple in Kollam, Kerala is extremely shocking. My prayers are with the families of those who’ve lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy. Spoke to CM Oommen Chandyji to ensure that adequate relief, medical care and assistance is being provided to the injured at the earliest.”

10.40 am: The Navy, too, is providing all possible assistance. INS Kabra and INS Kalpeni, with medical stores, will sail to Kollam shortly. INS Sunayna will also arrive later. One additional Dornier and two Chetaks are also being pressed in by the Navy.

10.36 am: The IAF choppers – that have been pressed into service – have been requisitioned by the state government, and will be operating from Trivandrum. One Dornier and two ALH are being sent from Garuda Naval air base, Kochi along with medical teams.

10.30 am: A ten-member team from Karnataka will leave for Kollam with paramedics, doctors and medicines. Karnataka health minister has said that they have asked the team to purchase medicines directly and that the government will will foot the bill.

10.10 am: The death toll has now risen to 102, DGP Kerala confirms

10.00 am: A team of burn specialist doctors will also be arriving in Kerala soon. They are travelling with Prime Minister Modi from Kerala.

9.50 am: CM Oommen Chandy has convened an urgent cabinet meeting at 3 pm in Kollam.

9. 40 am: PM Modi has announced Rs two lakh each as compensation to the next of kin of dead, and  Rs 50,000 to those injured.

9.20 am: BJP president Amit Shah has cancelled all his public programs scheduled in Kerala for the day. He will visit Kollam later this evening.

9.12 am: Here’s the document showing the temple had been denied permission to organise the fireworks. The district administration had banned fire works citing safety norms. The order reads: “On the basis of the inquiry following the application, the district administration refuses permission to hold a competitive fireworks display. Those violating this ban will be prosecuted under the Explosives Act.”
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kollam, kerala, kerala fire, kerala news, pottingal temple
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9.03 am: Mi17s pressed into service

9.00 am: “Rescue operation at the mishap spot is over… The next main focus of the government is to provide best treatment to the injured,” Kerala CM Chandy said, adding that “this is an unprecedented and alarming situation.”

8.47 am: EC has given its nod to Kerala Chief Secretary to disburse financial assistance to the victims.

8. 40 am: Police have registered cases against the firework organisers as well as the temple administration. The fireworks at the temple was organised by two contractors. The tragedy happened when the show by the second contractor was going on.

8.38 am: Health Minister V S Sivakumar said the government will offer treatment to the injured free of cost in private hospitals as well. Several victims admitted in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College have suffered fractures, which indicate they could have possibly got injured in a stampede that followed the tragedy. Besides, many were injured when concrete blocks from the collapsed building fell on them.

8.35 am: “Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending and shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased and prayers with the injured,” PM Modi tweeted, adding that he spoke to CM Chandy about the fire and has arranged for immediate shifting of those critically injured via helicopter.

8.30 am: CM Oommen Chandy has spoken to Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh. Chandy has sought assistance from the central government and wants helicopters to help transfer the injured.

8.20 am: A woman residing near the Puttingal Devi temple had obtained a stay against the fireworks show at the temple. But the district authorities allowed the show after obtaining an assurance from the temple authorities that the fireworks would be limited to only a ritualistic level.

8. 13 am: According to reports, the local administration’s stay on the fireworks contest came after residents of houses near the temple complained. These houses have been damaged to a large extent after the explosion.

8.10 am: Kerala Chief Secretary has asked the Election Commission for permission to release financial assistance to the victims, Kerala CMO has told The Indian Express. With polls scheduled to be held on May 16, the EC has imposed a code  of conduct in the state wherein the government is restricted in its expenditure.

8.00 am: An eyewitness said most injuries and death were caused when the explosion took place inside the fireworks storage room which was made of concrete. “A lot of people were hit by debris from the building,” a local resident told Manorama News.

7.50 am: The fireworks display forms an important part of celebrations at the temple. Traditionally, there is even a competitive fireworks show organised at the temple. However, this year there was no competition, probably because of the local administration’s restrictions.

7.42 am: Local reports coming in also say that window panes of houses within a 1-km radius have been shattered.

7.40 am: The building collapse is being seen as one of the main reasons for such a high casualty rate.

7.32 am: The building of the Devaswom Board, which runs temples in Kerala, collapsed due to the impact. Many people at the spot complained of bleeding from their ears.

7.30 am: The death toll is now at 84, Kerala DGP Senkumar has told The Indian Express.

7.24 am: Local media channels report that the temple authorities went ahead with the fireworks display despite a warning from the local administration.

7. 20 am: Watch video – Fire at Kerala Temple


7.00 am: The death toll is now at 70, K Lalji, ACP, Kollam district has said, adding that over 200 people were injured. “The situation is now under control, the DGP is also here,” he said, adding that the rescue operations were still underway.

kerala, kerala temple fire, kollam paravoor, kollam temple fire, Puttingal Devi temple fire, Paravur temple fire, kerala temple fire updates, india news, kerala news, latest news At least 80 people are feared dead and over 200 injured after a fire at Puttingal temple in Kerala.


6.52 am: Home Minister Chennithala has said that a judicial inquiry will be ordered into the fire and that the Chief Minister will be at the site around noon. He also said the government will announce compensation for families of those dead as well as the injured.

6.50 am: Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the DGP has been asked to rush to the site and he will coordinate all rescue efforts. “The temple holds an annual firework display every year. We’re doing our best to rescue those still trapped.”

6.46 am: Asianet reports that the police had not given permission for the use of fireworks

6.42 am: The fire at the temple site has been brought under control

6.40 am: CM Oommen Chandy, state ministers have rushed to the site

6.35 am: Victims have been rushed to a local hospital in Kollam while those in a much serious condition have been transferred to Thiruvananthapuram.

6:23 am: Kollam ACP K Lalji to ANI, 60 people have died more than 200 injured in Puttingal temple in Paravoor in Kerala’s Kollam district

More details are awaited.

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