Kollam: Describing the fire tragedy here as "unimaginable", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured Kerala government and its people all help in the hour of crisis as he visited the mishap site near here and a hospital to see the injured people.
"This tragedy is very painful. The extent of the tragedy is unimaginable and such dreadful," he told reporters before concluding his brief visit during which he also held a meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.
He said the tragedy is such huge that it is difficult to express it in words as such a large number of people have been injured, with some being beheaded.
"This is an hour of crisis and the central government is ready to extend all help to Kerala government and the people of the state," Modi said.
He said he had told the Chief Minister that if he wanted any injured people to be taken to Mumbai or Delhi for specialised treatment, the central government will immediately make arrangements for the same. He extended condolences to those who lost their kin and wished speedy recovery to the injured.
The Prime Minister also saw the concrete bars, twisted wires and cables. Later talking to reporters, Chennithala said the Prime minister had enquired about the unidentified bodies and said DNA tests should be done if necessary.
Chandy informed him that government had already taken steps in this regard. Chennithala said the PM also enquired about the compensation to be given to those affected. The Prime Minister later visited the Kollam district hospital to see the injured people.
Earlier, Chandy said he was thankful to the Prime Minister for coming to Kerala to share the grief. He said he was also grateful to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for visiting Kerala in this hour of grief.
Earlier in the day, Modi announced Rs two lakh each as compensation for the next of the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.
"Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured," the Prime Minister said in a tweet in the morning.
Fire at temple in Kollam is heart-rending & shocking beyond words. My thoughts are with families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 10, 2016
"Spoke to CM Oommen Chandy about the fire at a temple in Kollam. Arranging for immediate shifting of those critically injured via helicopter," he tweeted in the morning.
Spoke to CM Oommen Chandy about the fire at a temple in Kollam. Arranging for immediate shifting of those critically injured via helicopter.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 10, 2016
The PMO said Modi was constantly monitoring the situation and was in touch with officials. He had directed that no protocol formalities be observed on his arrival in Kerala as focus should remain on relief and rescue operations in Kollam. Modi said he had also asked Health Minister J P Nadda to immediately reach the site of the fire tragedy in Kollam.
Have also asked my Cabinet colleague & Health Minister @JPNadda to immediately reach the site of the fire tragedy in Kollam.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 10, 2016
102 people were killed and over 300 injured in a major fire that broke out in the Puttingal Devi Temple complex early this morning during a display of fireworks for which there was no permission from authorities....