HUFFINGTON POST

India Temple Fire Leaves Scores Dead

Fireworks used during the new year celebrations may have sparked the blaze.

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A huge fire swept through a temple in southern India early on Sunday, killing more than 60 people and injuring 200 gathered for a fireworks display to mark the start of the Hindu new year.

Thousands of people were packed into the temple and the narrow lanes around it in the southern state of Kerala for the display that began at midnight and went on for hours.

One of the crackers fell on a shed where the fireworks were stored, setting off the fire, local television reported. The temple is located in Kollam, about 70 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

"More than 60 people have died, that is the information which we have so far," state home minister Ramesh Chennithala said.

So powerful were the fireworks that some parts of the temple building had chipped and a bulldozer were trying to clear the area of the debris.

State health authorities said many of the injured had been driven to the state capital as hospitals in Kollam were stretched.

 

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Ryan Woo)

 

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Ryan Woo)

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