Cochin/New Delhi, Apr 10: The Indian armed forces today pitched in with helicopters, aircraft, ships and medical teams to ensure quick treatment of the more than 300 people who were injured in the devastating fire which broke out in a temple in Kerala. Following a request from the state government, Indian Air Force sent six helicopters, two AN32 transport aircraft and two business jets to Kerala, a spokesperson said. While army medical personnel were rushed to Kollam from Trivandrum, the military hospital in the latter city also swung into action, army sources said.
The navy has dispatched six aircraft — two Dornier fixed- wing aircraft, two ALH helicopters and two Chetak helicopters — to the site of the tragedy that has claimed the lives of at least 106 people, a navy spokesperson said. Two ALH with a nine-member medical team as well as three doctors, paramedics, supplies and equipment were rushed at 1130hrs to Kollam, where the tragedy occurred during a fireworks display organised at the Puttingal Devi Temple. While the helicopters landed at the Ashramam Ground, Kollam, at 1200hrs, one Dornier aircraft from Kochi has been positioned at Trivandrum since noon.(Also Read: Kollam temple tragedy: 106 killed, 383 injured in Kerala)
The rest of aircraft are on standby at Kochi. The INS Sunayna, Kabra and Kalpeni set sail immediately from Kochi with 200kg of medical supplies and a medical team to provide succour at the site of the tragedy. INS Kabra and Kalpeni reached Kollam jetty at 1600hrs while INS Sunayna is off Kollam and awaiting instructions. The medical supplies have been handed over to the local administration while the ships have kept blood donors ready to meet requirement of blood. The Indian Coast Guard, too, sent in a helicopter with medical supplies along with one of its ship.