In one of the worst disasters caused by fireworks in Kerala, 112 people died and more than 380 were left injured. The incident happened in Puttingal temple in Kollam district on week hours of Sunday at 3:00 AM. The mishap occurred after sparks from an ignited high-intensity pyrotechnic display spread to a storehouse next to the temple. The room had stored explosives which caught fire, resulting in the blast. Impact of the fire was felt over 1-km radius of the temple. The video shows how the lit crackers caused an explosion bringing down a nearby storehouse.
The fireworks display was held in the temple premises even after the police had denied it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation and sought for a detailed report regarding the accident. Police registered case against 30 people in relation to the mishap. Five including Surendran and Krishnakutty, who conducted the competitive fire works at the temple were also held. The accused were charged under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of IPC and Section four of the Explosives Substances Act, PTI reported. The Kerala government had ordered a judicial probe into the incident. (Also Read- Kerala Temple fire: Police case against 30 people including temple board members)
Even amid the controversy regarding the ban on fireworks in temples, the Travancore Devaswom Board which manages about 1,255 temples in the state said that they cannot order for a complete ban on fireworks display. Prayar Goapalakrishnan, President of TDB, told PTI said the board was against banning the pyrotechnics during temple festivals as they are part of rituals. He said, “It should be as per the restrictions of government and court orders with sufficient safety measures. In various temples fireworks display is part of temple rituals and we cannot ban it.”