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Kerala temple tragedy toll rises to 109, six booked

Kerala temple tragedy toll rises to 109, six booked
Police has registered a case of attempt to murder and other offences against six persons, including members of temple managing committee and associates of firework contractors in connection with the Putttingal Devi temple fire tragedy, even as the toll today rose to 109.

A case has been registered against six persons including temple authorities under section 307 (attempt to murder), and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of IPC and under section 4 of Explosives Substances Act.

Besides the members of the temple managing committee, case was also registered against assistants of contractors who held the 'competitive' pyrotechnic display, despite a ban on it by the district administration.

A crime branch probe also began today into the fireworks tragedy.

A day after the devastating fireworks accident, that also left 383 people injured, a Kerala High Court Judge wrote to the court seeking its intervention for an immediate ban on use of high-decible explosive crackers in all Kerala temples. The is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.

Officials of the Crime Branch and personnel from the office of Chief Controller of Explosives collected evidence from the accident spot, situated about 70 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

The toll rose to 109 with three persons succumbing to their injuries while around 300 were still under treatment at various hospitals for burns and other injuries, a release from the Chief Minister's Officer said.

The condition of seven persons admitted to the Medical College Hosptial here was serious, state Health Minister V S Sivakumar said.

The accident occurred at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex during an unauthorised display of fireworks early yesterday morning after a spark from a firecracker fell on the storehosue containing crackers, triggering explosions.

Of the deceased, 14 were yet to be identified as the charred bodies made the task difficult, official sources said.
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