Disaster hit Kerala temple opens

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Kollam (Kerala), April 17 (IANS) The Puttingal Devi temple here where a fireworks disaster killed 114 people opened on Sunday to devotees for the first time after a week.

With devotees looking on, temple priest Unnikrishnan Nampoothiri opened the temple and offered the customary prayers, residents said.

A huge pile of fireworks exploded early on the morning of April 10 at the temple in Paravur town here, killing 114 people and leaving more than 350 injured.

While a concrete building nearby where the fireworks had been stored came crashing down, the temple was not affected in the disaster.

The re-opening on Sunday followed a few rounds of talks that the elders in the area held amongst themselves.

The temple administration committee consists of 15 members, of which seven are now in police custody. The others, including a woman member, are on the run since the disaster.

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The temple has become a must visit spot not just for Kollam residents but for many who pass through the National Highway 47 nearby.

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