With 112 people killed and 350 injured in the Kollam temple of Paravur Puttingal Devi on Sunday afternoon, similar stampede that killed many pilgrims at Sabarimala in Keral comes to significance, with no lessons learnt while organizing such mega events.
Sabarimala stampede has become a passe now with the Kollam temple’s glaring negligence to let firecrackers stored in the vicinity of the event defying a ban in force in the district. The annual festival has always marked fireworks display but safety to keep them was given a go by as usual giving rise to another flaw in our arrangements for such occasions.
The explosion was caused when the storehouse of the fireworks caught fire and spread to the office building of the Travancore Devaswom Board too. What remains there is now a war zone with a glaring impact of negligence to fireplay, which is amusement as long as it is safe but dangerous when minimum safety norms are not implemented.
even while transporting the injured, ambulances faced crunched road to exit due to official vehicles blocking both the sides of the narrow road. That is where pre-planning is key to hold such events.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited the temple and those injured, said: “Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending and shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased and prayers with the injured. Spoke to CM Oommen Chandy about the fire at a temple in Kollam. Arranging for immediate shifting of those critically injured via helicopter.”
The government has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the fire in Kollam. The PM also announced a solatium of Rs. 50, 000 to those who are injured in the fire.