Five persons held, Crime branch begins investigation over Paravoor fireworks explosion

Monday, Apr 11, 2016,11:38 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kollam | Crime Branch wing of Kerala Police has begun investigation into the Paravoor fireworks explosion tragedy, after police arrested five persons in connection with the incident.

They are workers associated with the contractor of the fireworks display, police said.

The contract for the fireworks had been taken by two groups led by Surendran and Krishnan Kutty, they said.

Ananathakrishnan, Additional Director General of Police, Crime Branch, visited the accident spot this morning to take stock of the situation.

A team of explosives experts also will arrive on the spot from New Delhi today help the investigation.

The death toll in the Paravoor fireworks tragedy has risen to 108 as two of those who sustained severe burns died Monday morning. One person died at KIMS hospital at Thiruvananthapuram and another at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital, a statement from the Chief Minister’s office said.

Government medical teams would visit all hospitals where the 383 injured have been admitted to assess the situation, it said.

The unauthorized fireworks display was held as part of Puttingal Devi temple festival in Paravoor in the wee hours of Sunday. The tragedy had struck around 3.30 AM. The fireworks, for which no permission had been granted by Revenue officials, had started at midnight, and thousands of people had gathered to witness it.

The mishap occurred as sparks of the fireworks fell on the store room ‘Kambapura’ and the fire crackers kept there exploded with a deafening noise. The blaze spread quickly trapping devotees within the complex.

The Kerala government had ordered a judicial probe by a retired High Court Judge as also a probe by the Crime Branch.

Police sources said a case has been registered against temple authorities and explosive licensees under section 307 (Attempt to murder), and 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide) of IPC and under section 4 of Explosives Substances Act.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh to kin of each of those killed, Rs two 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, had announced Rs two lakh each as compensation for the next of the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 each for the injured. He had flown in here and taken stock of the situation.

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