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21 missing after Kerala tragedy, DNA tests to begin

By Ians English

Kollam (Kerala), April 12: Authorities here on Tuesday began taking steps to conduct DNA tests on unclaimed bodies as 21 people remained missing after the temple fire tragedy that killed 110 people.

Officials said the health department had told the family members of those missing to reach Kollam on Wednesday.


They have been asked to bring identity proof of the missing ones and provide samples of their blood at a special counter at the Kollam district hospital.

Sathyan, a 55-year-old man, succumbed to his injuries at the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday afternoon, doctors said, taking the death toll in the Sunday tragedy to 110.

A huge stock of fireworks went up in flames before dawn on Sunday at the Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur town in Kollam district during a fireworks show watched by thousands.

More than 350 people were injured, and most of them are being treated in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. At least 25 are in serious condition.

Thirteen bodies are yet to be identified, the officials said. They are kept in hospitals in Kollam and in Thiruvananthapuram.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Rs.20 crore had been given away so far as compensation and relief to the victims and their families.


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