Kerala temple fire leaves many lives singed and scarred

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Kollam (Kerala) April 11 (IANS) A day after the tragedy at Kerala’s Puttingal Devi temple left 109 dead and over 300 injured, women living in the temple’s vicinity are heartbroken to see their lives and property ruined by it.

Many of the wailing women complained to TV media crew, who arrived at the temple site Monday morning, that their miseries have just surged.

One of the women, Deepa, a representative of the local body at Paravur, said the tragedy has struck in more ways than one.

“Apart from the injuries sustained by many, the people living nearby the temple have been struck by a trauma following the explosions and their aftermath.”

Women said about 15 houses in the immediate vicinity of the temple have been damaged beyond repair.

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“My house has been completely destroyed. The only way out is to demolish it and rebuild,” said a 70-year-old woman.

One can see numerous two-wheelers lying at various places near the temple site, and a few bags and suitcases from the temporary stalls scattered around.

Some complained their source of water has been contaminated by the burnt explosives and ash.

“Our well is now fully polluted after the blast. We have no other source of water,” said a housewife.

Another housewife was seething in anger, seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi accompanied by their massive security cover visiting the site of devastation.

“Why are our lives not valuable? There was no security check when the fireworks took place,” she said bitterly.

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More reports are emerging about damage to houses located within one square kilometre radius of the temple.

“I do not have a single plate, glass or cup left. My window is also not left with any glass, everything is broken. The locks of the closed doors and windows have all flown away due to explosion,” said another woman.

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