KOLLAM, April 10 - In one of the worst tragedies to hit Kerala, 100 people were killed and 383 injured in a major fire that engulfed the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex near here during a display of fireworks, for which no permission had been granted by the authorities.
A judicial probe by a retired High Court Judge was ordered by the state government along with an investigation by Crime Branch into the tragedy, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced after an emergency Cabinet meeting over the tragedy.
Chandy, who had earlier put the death toll at 102, told reporters after the meeting that as per the latest figures, 100 people have died and 383 persons were injured. The injured have been admitted to various hospitals, he said.
At least 60 bodies have been identified. Post-mortem will be held as early as possible and bodies handed over to the relatives without any delay, he said, adding scientific examination would be done to identify bodies which have not yet been claimed, he said.
Chandy also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh to kin of each of those killed in fire tragedy, Rs 2 lakh for seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those with minor injuries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who termed the incident as �heart-rending� and �shocking�, announced Rs 2 lakh each as compensation for the next of the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 each for the injured. He later rushed here to personally take stock of the situation and see the injured people.
The tragedy struck around 3:30 am during display of fireworks at the temple complex, which is around 70 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The display, for which no permission had been granted by Revenue and police officials, had started at midnight as part of an annual festival and thousands of people had gathered to witness it. � PTI