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Fire in Kerala: 102 dead and 280 injured with severed burns

NEW DELHI: On Sunday, an enormous fire engulfed through a temple in southern India killing more than 100 people after thousands gathered to watch a banned explosives show.

More than 280 others were injured in the fire.

A team of expert doctors and medicines were being set out from New Delhi to help with the disaster in the middle of reports of terrible burns grieved by those caught in the blaze at the Puttingal Devi temple.

According to the officials, the navy and air force were also sending helicopters to evacuate the most critically injured.

“It has been confirmed that 102 people were killed and 280 injured and admitted to various hospitals. Now our focus is to provide the best treatment to the injured,” Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters.

Television videotape exhibited a sequence of huge blasts and firecrackers exploding as clouds of smoke chockfull the night air after about 3am (2130 GMT Saturday).

The Kerala government ordered an investigation into the cause of the disaster.

“It has happened after 75 per cent of the fireworks were (already) burst. It was actually fortunate, otherwise the casualties would have been much, much, much more,” NK Premachandran, state MP for Kollam district where the accident occurred, told the NDTV network.

The chief doctor at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College in the state capital said some of those sheeting down into the hospital had ached serious injuries “and many would require amputation” of limbs.

“Many have sustained burns of over 50 per cent and the condition of some of them is quite serious,” D Mohandas told the Hindu newspaper.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was flying to the scene, announcing 200,000 rupees ($3,005) in reimbursement for the families of those killed and 50,000 rupees for those injured.

“Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words,” Modi tweeted.

“Arranging for immediate shifting of those critically injured via helicopter.”