BY SCO Admin | April 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

9 kerala-temple-7592

Papal telegram after explosion in Indian temple

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a fireworks explosion at an Indian Hindu temple that left more than 100 people dead.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the tragic fire at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravur, and he sends condolences to the relatives of the deceased and injured,” Cardinal Parolin writes. “Praying for all affected by this tragedy, and for the relief efforts underway, Pope Francis invokes upon the nation the divine blessings of strength and peace.”

The fire that killed at least 100 people at a Hindu temple (above) in the Indian state of Kerala was started by fireworks, police say.

The fireworks exploded as thousands of people had gathered to celebrate a local new year festival.

More than 200 were injured. A building at the temple then collapsed, causing many of the deaths.  An investigation has been ordered as officials say permits for the display had been refused after safety fears.

There were scenes of chaos as emergency teams were slow in reaching the area, witnesses said. Rescue teams used bulldozers to clear the area looking for survivors.

A team of specialist doctors has been sent from Delhi amid reports of horrific burns suffered by those wounded. Several people were said to be in critical condition in hospitals.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has flown to Kerala, said the incident was ‘heart-rending and shocking beyond words.’

—ian@sconews.co.uk

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