Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016

Officials wanted in Indian temple fire surrender to police

(Xinhua)    16:37, April 12, 2016

NEW DELHI, April 12 -- Five officials blamed for a deadly temple fire in India's southern state of Kerala surrendered themselves to the police on Tuesday, officials said.

The men, including president of the Puttingal Devi temple managing committee, were wanted by police in connection with fireworks blasts that killed 110 people early Sunday.

"The five office bearers were absconding after the tragedy," an official said. "Crime Branch is conducting an investigations into the temple disaster. It has registered a case against six persons, including members of temple managing committee under various sections of the Indian Penal Code."

Officials said a case has also been registered against the assistants of contractors who held the 'competitive' pyrotechnic display, despite a ban on it by the district administration.

A local television news channel NDTV quoting an updated government statement said nearly 350 people were still in hospital.

"More than 1,000 people were injured in the fire that swept through a temple in Kerala, triggering huge explosions during a fireworks display," NDTV said.

Police officials have already detained 20 people for questioning.

The fireworks display triggered massive fire engulfing the temple complex. The huge explosions were caused after a half burnt firecracker landed on a large stockpile of fireworks.

The intensity of explosions ripped apart a building at the temple, resulting in many of the deaths after it collapsed.

Thousands of people, according to reports, had gathered at the temple to witness the fireworks display as part of a local new year festival.

The local government has ordered a judicial probe into the accident.

Officials said the fireworks display at the temple was being held without authorization.

"The Kollam district administration had denied the temple authorities permission for the display and the government would investigate why they went ahead anyway," Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters. "There was no permission to even store the fireworks."

Forensic experts have found massive use of banned chemicals like potassium chloride in the explosives that were used for firework display, reports said.

Meanwhile, Kerala High Court will be hearing a plea to decide banning of firework displays at temples.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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