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Puttingal fire: Chandy satisfied with rescue ops, assures medical assistance

Kollam (Kerala) : Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who today visited the Puttingal temple where 98 people lost their lives following a massive fire that broke out this morning, appeared satisfied with the ongoing rescue operations and assured medical assistance to those injured in the unfortunate incident.

“We have adequate medical facilities to cater the current need. We have also asked the family of the injured to tell us in which hospital do they want their relatives to be treated, we will try and do the needful,” Chandy told the media here.

“The police and the fire force along with the public did a commendable job in the rescue operations,” he added.

Chandy has also convened an emergency Cabinet meeting here at 3 p.m. to decide the future course of action in wake of the tragedy.

At least 98 people have lost their lives and more than 350 have been injured in the fire that took place in the wee hours today.

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.

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.

The Prime Minister, who is on his way to Kollam with a team of burn specialist doctors, has instructed that no official welcome protocols should be followed on his arrival.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will also be visiting Kollam this afternoon to meet the victims. (ANI)