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106 dead, 400 injured in fireworks explosion at India temple

Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi arrived on the scene of the deadly incident.

By
Marilyn Malara
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the scene of the tragic temple explosion and subsequent blaze that has killed at least 106 and injured over 300 others in southern India. Photo from PMO India/Twitter
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the scene of the tragic temple explosion and subsequent blaze that has killed at least 106 and injured over 300 others in southern India. Photo from PMO India/Twitter

PARAVUR, India, April 10 (UPI) -- At least 100 people are dead and hundreds of others were injured after a fireworks display exploded in an Indian temple.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the remains of the Paravur Puttingal Devi Temple on Sunday, hours after the initial explosion. Thousands of people were at the temple for a festival when fireworks detonated. Investigators suspect sparks from a single display ignited other displays, soon causing a massive explosion.

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"Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words," Modi tweeted shortly after the news broke. "My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured."

At least 400 were injured in the blaze, The Hindu reported. Modi visited those affected by the explosion in hospitals shortly after arriving on the scene. DNA testing must be used to identify some remains.

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The temple explosion and subsequent blaze is said to have been a result of an unauthorized firework display, Press Trust of India said. Local authorities said the temple was denied a permit for the display. A. Shainamol, a senior official in Kollam, said "no permission for any kind of fireworks was given."

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The initial explosion caused a loss of power in the immediate area as well as a hailstorm of concrete chunks, according to BBC.

State and federal government authorities will investigate the blaze. Some reports said temple officials have gone missing after the incident.

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