Kerela temple tragedy: Hundreds throng to see accident site

Kollam: Hundreds of people from far and near are thronging to see the accident site at the century-old Puttingal Devi temple, which witnessed one of the worst fireworks tragedies in the recent times, that took 110 lives and injured several.

Puttingal Devi temple
Puttingal Devi temple after the destruction caused by fire crackers. Pic/ AFP

The festivities of the temple had turned tragic early on Sunday when a stockpile of crackers went off during a fireworks display, leaving a trail of death and destruction. There has been a steady stream of visitors from nearby and far flung areas.

Among the visitors was an Australian tourist who was saddened because his first trip to Kerala coincided with "one of the worst temple tragedies in the God's own country."

38-year-old Joval, who left on a India-Sri Lanka tour a month ago from Melbourne, was on his way to Kerala from Hampi, to visit the state he had heard so much about. His anxious mother called up to find if he was safe soon after hearing about the tragedy, Joval told PTI. He visited the accident site and was shocked to see the devastation.

A great admirer of India, Joval, who works in a private company, said he was prepared to offer any help to the needy. The accident at the Puttingal Devi Temple complex occurred during an unauthorised display of fireworks early Sunday morning after a spark from a firecracker fell on the storehouse of crackers, triggering explosions.

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