Kollam temple fire: Negligence, violation of orders led to tragedy

fireworks-kollam In this image made from video, a flash from an explosion is seen from the ground during a fireworks show at a temple in Kollam / AP

The reports on Sunday clearly suggested that safety norms and prohibitory orders were violated to conduct the customary fireworks display at the Puttingal temple in Kollam, which caused the worst fire tragedy in Kerala history.

The authorities had earlier received complaints about the fireworks display, which had been causing great inconvenience to the residents living in and around the temple premises.

Meanwhile, district administration, which had concerns about unhealthy competitions between the participants of fireworks display, had refused permission for the event, said reports.

Kollam District Collector A. Shinemol speaking to media said she had clearly indicated to the temple authorities that there will be no permission for the firecracker display. She also visited the the accident spot to take the stock of the situation.

The use of huge volumes of pyrotechnic chemicals shows the violation of administrative orders.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also reasserted that “there was no permission for this fireworks display,” adding that the cabinet will meet at 1 p.m and decide on all issues related to the tragedy.

The mishap took place at around 3:30 am when sparks emanating from a fireworks display ignited a storeroom 'Kambapura' filled with crackers and pyrotechnic materials. So far, 102 people have been killed and over 350 injured.

Following the explosion, concrete storeroom came crashing down on people, who had gathered in large numbers to witness the fireworks display.

A large scale rescue and relief operation is underway.

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