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Indian PM going to Kerala as temple death toll rises to 80

The fire and explosion took place at the Puttingal temple in Kerala. Credit: RTV

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his way to Kerala after a fire at a Hindu temple killed at least 80 people and injured more than 200.

Mr Modi said his "thoughts are with the families of the dead and his prayers with the injured".

He added that he has spoken to the Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, and asked him to arrange the transfer of the critically injured by helicopter for treatment.

He has also asked the Health Minister, Jagat Prakash Nadda, to reach the site of the tragedy at Puttingal temple in Kerala.

The incident reportedly occurred when a fireworks display to mark the Hindu new year went wrong, setting fire to a store of fireworks and causing a deadly explosion.

Official: At least 60 people dead in India temple fire

Hospitals in Kollam were reportedly stretched to the limit by the number of casualties. Credit: RTV

At least 60 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in a fire at a Hindu temple in the south of India, according to a local state official.

Local media said the blaze at Puttingal temple in Kerala was caused by a spark from a firework which set fire to a stock of fireworks held for celebrations.

Thousands of people were packed into the temple and the narrow lanes around it for the display to mark the start of the Hindu new year that began at midnight and went on for hours.

"More than 60 people have died, that is the information which we have so far," state home minister Ramesh Chennithala said.


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