Kollam temple fire: Death toll mounts to 109text_fields
Kollam: The death toll in the temple fire tragedy at Puttingal Devi temple in Kollam has risen to 109 on Monday.
A case has been registered against 15 people, including members of temple managing committee and associates of firework contractors, on attempt to murder and other charges in connection with the tragedy.
Five persons have also been held for questioning but the police did not the reveal the identity of those booked and detained.
The accused were charged under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of IPC and Section four of the Explosives Substances Act, police said.
"The crime branch has initiated the investigation by collecting evidence from the mishap spot at the temple complex," ADGP (Crime Branch) S Ananthakrishnan, heading the Crime Branch special investigation team, told PTI here.
"More persons will be included as accused after collecting documents and evidence," Ananthakrishnan said.
Among the accused are associates of two contractors, Surendran and Krishnakutty, who conducted the competitive fire works at the temple, situated at Paravoor, a semi-urban area about 60 km from the state capital.
The devastating fire had engulfed the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex at nearby Paravoor during an unauthorised display of fireworks early yesterday morning.
The Kerala government had ordered a judicial probe and by a retired High Court Judge as also a probe by the Crime Branch.
The tragedy had struck around 3.30 a.m. The fireworks, for which no permission had been granted by Revenue and police officials, had started at midnight as part of an annual festival and thousands of people had gathered to witness it.
The mishap occurred as sparks of the fireworks fell on the store room ‘Kambapura’ and the fire crackers kept there exploded with a deafening noise. The blaze spread quickly trapping devotees within the complex.