President expresses grief over Kerala temple tragedy

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New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday expressed condolence over the loss of lives in the Kerala temple blaze.

In a message to Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, the president said: “I am shocked and distressed to learn about the incident at Kollam’s Puttingal temple this morning, as a result of which a large number of persons have lost their lives and others are injured.”

“Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. My prayers are with all the injured persons for their speedy recovery,” Mukherjee added.

At least 110 people died and over 350 were injured when an illegal fireworks show in the temple early on Sunday set off a huge fire.

The tragedy occurred around 3.30 a.m. in the coastal town of Peravur when a spark from an exploding firecracker landed on a building where a vast quantity of crackers had been stored, setting off explosions and a massive blaze that brought down the structure, witnesses said.

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