Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that those who suffered serious burns during a temple fire disaster in Kerala could be shifted to Delhi and Mumbai.
After visiting Peravur town in Kollam district where more than 100 people were killed, Modi said his government stands with the people of Kerala.
Making a brief statement at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital after visiting the injured, he said he was deeply grieved over the incident.
“We stand by Kerala’s grief and we will do everything we can to bring down the misery. The seriously injured can be shifted to hospitals in Mumbai and Delhi,” Modi said before leaving for the airport to return to Delhi.
“I visited the temple site and the hospital. My sympathies are with the kin of the deceased persons. The tragedy was so horrific that it can’t be expressed in words. People at a distance of 200 metres got injured. No one could have thought of such death,” he said.
Modi arrived in the state capital earlier and took a helicopter to Kollam, about 60 km away, where he was received by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. He asked Chandy to join him in his vehicle to the temple.
The prime minister spent about 10 minutes walking around the temple complex, where Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Lok Sabha member N.K. Premachandran explained to him the sequence of events that led to the tragedy.
From the temple, Modi and Chandy drove to the Kollam district hospital where 185 of the injured people are undergoing treatment.
He then chaired a meeting with Chandy and senior officials and assured them all support from the central government.
The tragedy occurred around 3.30 a.m. when a spark from a firecracker landed on a building where a large quantity of crackers was stored, setting off explosions and a massive blaze.
Speaking to reporters at the accident site, Chennithala said the prime minister was very particular about the way unclaimed bodies were to be handled.
“He said special care and attention should be taken to see that DNA test is done on such bodies.”