Ghani offers condolences over Kerala temple fire tragedy
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday offered his heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of India over a massive fire breakout in a temple that killed more than100 people and injured some 280 others in Kerala state.
The massive fire broke out during a fireworks display to celebrate a local New Year festival in a Hindu temple in Kerala on Sunday at 3:30am.
The fire started when a spark from the unauthorized fireworks show ignited a separate batch of fireworks that were being stored at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village.
President Ghani said he was saddened by the death of more than 100 people and injuries to many in Kerala state of India, a statement from the Presidential Palace said.
On behalf of the Afghan government and people, President Ghani offered condolences and shared his grief with the bereaved families, the Indian government and the people, the statement said.
“It has been confirmed that 102 people were killed and 280 injured and admitted to various hospitals. Now our focus is to provide the best treatment to the injured,” Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters.
Firefighters and police battled through the night at the temple in the coastal town of Paravur to douse the fire and rescue those trapped in the gutted temple complex.
Television footage showed a series of large explosions and fireworks erupting as plumes of smoke filled the night air after about 3am. Concrete rubble and charred debris was strewn throughout the complex at daybreak, while police examined large unexploded bundles of fireworks.
"Now the situation is under control... the police are on the spot," Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told NDTV.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was flying to the scene and announced 200,000 Indian Rupees in compensation for the families of those killed and INR50,000 for those injured.
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