3 abandoned cars with firecrackers seized

3 abandoned cars with firecrackers seized

3 abandoned cars with firecrackers seized

Death toll in the fireworks tragedy at the Puttingal Temple in Paravur in Kollam district rose to 109 on Monday even as a Crime Branch team started investigation into the incident.

Police also seized more firecrackers from three cars abandoned about a kilometre away from the temple.

The vehicles are reportedly registered in names of fireworks contractor Surendran’s relatives. Surendran is one of the two contractors who took part in Sunday’s fireworks show; he himself is in a critical condition, admitted in the Medical College Hospital (MCH) here, after sustaining serious burn injuries.

The three men who died on Monday were identified as Viswanathan (47) and Prasannan (28) from Kollam and Vinod (34) from Thiruvananthapuram. Among the 109 deceased, 14 people are yet to be identified. According to official figures, 879 people sought medical treatment after the explosions.

 At the Thiruvananthapuram MCH, 59 people have been admitted; seven of them in the Burns ICU and three in the Surgical ICU. Relatives of people who have been missing from the accident location continued their search at hospitals in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Meanwhile, the state government initiated measures to address allegations that some of the private hospitals charged fees ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 70,000 for treatment of seriously injured patients, both in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had earlier announced free medical treatment for people injured in the accident.

Health Minister V S Sivakumar told reporters after a review meeting here that the government would reimburse the expenses. Officials will coordinate the government’s relief measures at hospitals in the wake of the allegations. Trauma care teams will also be stationed at Paravur.

 A Crime Branch team led by ADGP S Anandakrishnan commenced an investigation into the incident at Paravur on Monday.

Kollam District Collector A Shainamol reiterated that the district administration had in clear terms denied permission to organise a competitive fireworks show at the temple.

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