Written by Staff Writer
10 Apr, 2016 | 8:26 pm
An explosion and blaze, sparked by fireworks, have killed at least 100 people at a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala.
Indian media reported that over 350 injured after the fire broke out at the Paravur Puttingal Devi temple around 3:30 a.m today, sunday April 10.
The fireworks ceremony was held as a part of the annual festival of the temple, near Kollam.
Thousands of people were gathered at the complex for the festivities.
Over 100 victims are admitted to the district hospital in Kollam. Many of the injured died before they could reach a hospital.
The explosion was caused when the storehouse of the fireworks material caught fire.
The local district magistrate had denied permission for the display to be held this year because of safety concerns and complaints from residents about the danger of these fireworks in the past.
As morning broke, hundreds arrived at the temple, in the coastal town of Paravur, in search of relatives and friends. Emergency teams used bulldozers to clear the area looking for survivors.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has flown to Kerala, said the incident was “heart-rending and shocking beyond words”.
This tragedy, which cost the lives of more than 100 people in India, was not a tragedy of their own making.
Instead it was the fault of a number of people, caused by negligence and a lack of comprehension.
How does Sri Lanka stand in terms of the safe use of fireworks?
Many people who work in the fireworks industry, live in the village of Kimbulapitiya in Negombo.
Those involved in the production of fireworks state that they have given more priority to the security of the people and have been engaging in the industry for a long period of time.
The fireworks industry, a gift from China, first commenced in Sri Lanka in 1942.
Industrialists note that they lack many facilities in Sri Lanka.
An extraordinary gazette notification, number 23/5 of the 13th of February 1979, lays down the rules and regulations for the manufacturing of fireworks, under the Explosives Act.
However, there is a commonly held view that probibited fireworks are being manufactured and sold in many places.
It has also been reported that many manufacturers use prohibited materials in producing fireworks, in order to promote their brands.
During our visit to Kimbulapitiya, it dawned on us that manufacturers in Sri Lanka today, lack proper storage facilities and a proper system with regard to new trends in the fireworks industry.
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