Kollam (Kerala), April 10: An illegal fireworks show in a Hindu temple in Kerala early on Sunday set off a huge fire which left around 112 people dead and over 380 injured, many critically.
Hours later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Kollam district to express grief over the horrific tragedy. Officials said he was accompanied by 15 medical professionals. The gruesome incident occurred around 3:30 am on Sunday, April 10.
Here are the Live Updates:
7:00 pm: This is a tragedy for Kerala and the whole country, says Rahul Gandhi.
6:50 pm: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi meets injured persons at AA Rahim Memorial Hospital in Kollam.
6:40 pm: Government of India stands with the people of Kerala, we will help them in the best way possible, says PM Modi.
6:30 pm: PM Modi reaches Thiruvananthapuram Medical college to meet the injured persons.
6:15 pm: INS Kabra & INS Kalpeni carrying medical supplies and medical teams dock at the Kollam harbour.
6:00 pm: BJP's Sreesanth outside Thiruvananthapuram Medical college.
5:30 pm: Puttingal Temple Fire tragedy: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi arrives in Kollam.
5:20 pm: PM Modi visits AA Rahim Memorial Hospital in Kollam where injured persons are being given medical assistance.
5:10 pm: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) personnels donate blood at Trivandrum Medical Hospital for victims of Kollam Temple Fire.
5:00 pm: PM Modi and CM Oommen Chandy take stock of the situation at Puttingal temple accident site in Kollam.
4:15 pm: PM Narendra Modi reaches the Puttingal temple accident site in Kollam.
4:00 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in #Kollam with a team of burn specialist doctors.
3.50 pm: Puttingal temple fire tragedy: PM Narendra Modi received upon arrival by Kerala CM Oommen Chandy at Kollam.
3:27 pm: "We've announced Rs 10 lakh to kin of those killed in accident, free treatment to all injured" says Oommen Chandy.
3.10 pm: We have ordered a judicial enquiry on the Kollam temple tragedy, will get the report within 6 months: Oommen Chandy, Kerala CM.
We have ordered a judicial enquiry on the #Kollam temple tragedy, will get the report within 6 months: Oommen Chandy, Kerala CM
We have ordered a judicial enquiry on the #Kollam temple tragedy, will get the report within 6 months: Oommen Chandy, Kerala CM— ANI (@ANI_news) April 10, 2016
3:00 pm: IAF chopper carrying PM Narendra Modi departs for Kollam from Thiruvananthapuram.
2:45 pm: In the wake of Kollam temple tragedy, PM Narendra Modi reaches Thiruvananthapuram.
2:35 pm: ICG Ship C-427 loaded with medical team arrives in Kerala's Kollam.
2:30 pm: Controller of Explosives, Kochi has reached the Kerala Temple Fire already. Controller from Chennai also to join in.
2:20 pm: Instructed Chief Controller of Explosives (PESO) to rush to Kollam site to check on legal/illegal storage/ use of firecrackers/explosives", tweets MoS,Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.
2:15 pm: Kerala HM Ramesh Chennithala, State Ministers Adoor Prakash, Shibu B John and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan present in cabinet meet convened by CM Chandy.
2:05 pm: Puttingal temple fire: Kerala Cabinet meeting begins in Kollam.
1:45 pm: Two more IAF helicopters have been dispatched from Yelahanka, Karnataka, for Kerala's Kollam.
1:30 pm: Pak Govt expresses its deep condolences on loss of precious lives, resulting from fire breakout in temple in South Kerala: Pak MoFA on Kollam mishap.
1:20 pm: "Assured Kerala CM all necessary assistance from Centre. All necessary directions were issued keeping in view his request for 2 choppers. I gave necessary instructions to NDRF DG in the morning, as soon as I received the news", says Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
1:10 pm: An additional team of Indian Coast Guard is on its way to Kollam to donate blood.
1:05 pm: Sufficient medical facilities are available here,we are giving best medical care to all injured persons, says Kerala CM Oommen Chandy.
1:00 pm: PM left for Kollam, a great gesture & confidence booster for all countrymen, particularly those affected by accident, says Union Min Jitendra Singh.
Eyewitness 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.
"The normal practice is to store the high potency crackers in the building and from there it's taken to the place where their is light. A spark from a live cracker landed in the building that stored these massive crackers," Kunjumon, a local believer, said.
Following this, the building collapsed and that was the prime reason for the number of casualties to increase.
Those in the know of things revealed that generally there is firework display competition, but according to local legislator P.K. Gurudasan, there was no competition but it was just a firework display, generally associated with any temple festival and one is not clear if there was any sanction for this display.
State Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said around 60 injured have been brought to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital.
"Numerous people are under treatment in hospitals at Kollam. The health department is fully geared to provide the necessary treatment," said Sivakumar.
Meanwhile, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala announced financial assistance to the dead and the injured. He said judicial probe would be ordered soon.
The fire has been brought under control.