Nearly 100 people are believed to have been killed in what may have been the deadliest firework disaster in history. It came at a display to celebrate the Hindu new year at a temple in southern India. The number injured is put at up to 350.
The fire at the Puttingal temple in Kollam, Kerala, is believed to have been caused by a stray firework hitting a firework store and causing a major explosion or perhaps a series of blasts. There are suggestions that dynamite sticks were also being stored. According to some reports, the explosions caused a roof to collapse, trapping people beneath.
About 6,000 people had been attending the festivities, and local residents spoke of concrete blocks flying through the air, and landing in gardens.
Southern India suffered another serious firework disaster in 2012 in the town of Sivakasi, known as India’s firework capital, because it turns out perhaps 70 per cent of the country’s production. 40 people were killed and 70 injured in an explosion at a factory that did not have a valid licence.
(See also my posts of 28 January, 25 March, 28 October and 3 November 2013.)