Officials of an Indian temple and two fireworks contractors are facing “culpable homicide” charges after a fire in the temple killed at least 106 people and injured 500 others, according to a report on CNN on Monday, April 11.
The names of the individuals allegedly involved in the accident have not been released by Kollam police as Indian law required that a criminal case be filed against them first before they could be arrested or charged, according to the report.
Officer M.S. Santosh told CNN that Puttingal temple did not have a permit for the fireworks display which caused the fire that destroyed one of its offices, a storage shed, nearby homes in Kollam at the Kerala State in southwest India.
The temple’s main shrine, however, was spared.
The temple’s website said that its festivals often included pyrotechnic displays with fireworks that “appear low to the ground.”
What caused the fire?
Police officer K. Laljy said that the fire was caused by the ignition of a stockpile of firecrackers by sparks from a pyrotechnic display.
Police Sommissioner P. Prakash also remarked that hundreds of people were still at the Puttingal temple when the explosion occurred at 3:15 a.m. Prakash added that people go to temples to pray in the wee hours of the morning.
Some died from burns, others from suffocation, and others from being crushed by the weight of the collapsed structures.
Kerala state chief minister Oomen Chandy said that those injured and brought to hospital would “receive free treatment.”