Date
23 January 2017
People walk past debris after an explosion ripped through a temple in Kollam in the southern Indian state of Kerala on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
People walk past debris after an explosion ripped through a temple in Kollam in the southern Indian state of Kerala on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

More than 100 people dead in Indian temple explosion

Explosions and a fire killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more during a religious festival at a Hindu temple in southern India.

Flames spread around the Puttingal Devi temple complex after sparks from a pyrotechnic show ignited a cache of other fireworks early Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing officials in Kerala state.

At least 110 people were confirmed dead and about 250 were injured, many by flying concrete and other debris, said Sekhar Kuriakose, head of Kerala’s State Emergency Operations Centre.

Mass deaths at religious celebrations and other gatherings had happened several times before in India, where large numbers of people and lax safety standards can be a fatal combination, the newspaper said.

A. Shainamol, a senior official in Kollam, where the temple is located, said festival organizers had “no permission for any kind of fireworks”.

He promised to take action against the temple administration and contractors.

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