Kollam (Kerala) : Kerala DGP TP Senkumar has said that the death toll in the tragic fire incident at the Puttingal temple in Kerala’s Kollam district has risen to 98 so far.
Over 350 people have been injured in the fire that took place in the wee hours on Sunday.
An explosion in piles of crackers during fireworks display is said to be the reason behind the fire that broke out at around 3.30 a.m. The police had earlier warned the temple authorities to restrict usage of fireworks.
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had earlier assured full support and medical relief to the injured.
A ten-member team from Karnataka will be leaving for Kollam with paramedics, doctors and medicines. Karnataka Health Minister V.S Siva Kumar has said that they have asked the team to purchase medicines directly and added that the government would foot the bill.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has convened an urgent meeting of his Cabinet at 3 p.m. in Kollam.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has also joined the rescue operation, dispatching one Dornier, two Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) and medical teams from Garuda Naval Air station near Kochi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs. two lakh to next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those critically injured in the incident.
Prime Minister Modi, who will be arriving here at 3 p.m, has asked for mobilisation of the Air Force and Navy assets to assist in the rescue and relief operation.
The Prime Minister, who will land directly here with a team of burn specialist doctors, instructed that no official welcome protocols should be followed on his arrival here.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will also be visiting Kollam at around 12: 30 p.m.to meet the victims.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Sujrewala said that Gandhi has requested the Kerala Government to provide urgent help and assistance.
“Rahulji will be going to the temple site to express solidarity,” he tweeted. (ANI)