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What EXACTLY HAPPENED

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 April 2016 12:00 AM GMT

* Every year, during Vishu celebrations, the Puttingal Temple in Paravur provides a visual treat for the devotees: a massive fireworks display. This is an old tradition. Thousands of people assemble at the temple grounds to witness the spectacle.

* But this is also a competition. Judges would witness the fireworks and declare a winner each year.

* Two sets of people form groups and try to outdo each other in the fireworks. The competition is to see whose fireworks are more grand, the

* According to sources in Kollam, till Saturday afternoon, there was no clarity over whether the fireworks competition will happen since permission had been denied.

* Word spread that the event would go on, but not a competition. A reporter with Asianet, also a resident of the village, Lallu, said, "The fireworks started around 11.50 pm on Saturday, but there was no competition."

* Was there an informal permission given to conduct the festival? This has to be investigated.

* Sometime between 3 am and 3.30 am, just few minutes before the fireworks display was to end, one of the fireworks, called "amittu", which was supposed to explode in the air and fizzle out, fell on the ground, and the sparks flew around causing a fire.

* This fire then spread to 12 huge "amittus" which were kept nearby, on the shed made of concrete.

* When those 12 fireworks caught fire, there was a huge explosion, which could be heard hundreds of metres away.

* As soon as the explosion happened, people panicked and did not know what to do.

* Even as people started trying to control the fire and rescue the injured, the shed on which the explosives were kept collapsed.

* This collapse of concrete on people after the explosion, worsened the tragedy.

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