Sunday, April 10, 2016

Modi visits temple fire accident spot, expresses grief

KOLLAM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Sunday afternoon and along with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy drove to the Puttingal Devi temple in Peravur town, where a fire left 110 people dead and over 350 injured.

Modi, who arrived in Thiruvananthapuram from Delhi on an Indian Air Force aircraft, reached Kollam on a helicopter.

Modi was received by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the Ashramam ground in Kollam. The prime minister asked Chandy to join him in his vehicle to the temple.

Modi spent about 10 minutes walking around the temple complex, and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Lok Sabha member N K Premachandran were seen explaining to him the sequence of the events that led to the tragedy.

From the temple site, Modi and Chandy drove to the Kollam district hospital where around 185 of the injured people are undergoing treatment.

The tragedy occurred around 3.30 am 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 that caused destruction in no time, witnesses said.

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. He also asked about the compensation that the state government will pay. He will also hold a meeting with the chief minister after visiting the injured at the Kollam district hospital," said Chennithala.

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