The police suspect that the balloons were filled with hydrogen and that the heat from the aarti caused the explosion.

Fire after balloons explode at Mysuru fair 10 including seer sustain minor injuries
news Explosion Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 17:54

Around 10 people were injured after a balloon, reportedly filled with hydrogen, exploded at the inauguration of a wrestling event at a fair in Suttur, around 30 km from Mysuru. The explosion occurred on Tuesday afternoon when a few seers, along with a number of visitors, had gathered for the inauguration of the 'Nada Kusti' wrestling event at the fair.

Heat from the aarti used for the puja, which was conducted before the beginning of the wrestling event, is suspected to be the reason for the blast. Several clusters of balloons were being held up in the air, right above where the seers were performing the pooja. In a few minutes, one bunch of balloons caught fire due to the heat from the aarti, setting the other balloons also on fire, thus causing a sudden explosion of the balloons that rocked the gathering.    

The clothes of Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamy, seer of the Suttur Mutt, caught fire in the incident, a police official from Suttur told TNM.

Police officers from Biligere Police Station, around 2 km away, rushed to the spot upon receiving news of the explosion around 4 pm. "We suspect hydrogen was used to fill the balloon instead of helium since it is cheaper and more easily available. We have been told that it was used to fill the balloons. Due to the heat from the lamp on the aarti plate, the balloon has exploded and set off a chain reaction,” said ML Shekhar, the police inspector from Suttur, who was at the spot.

The incident occurred on the fifth day of the Suttur Fair, which will conclude on Wednesday and includes kite flying, tug-of-war, boating and rangoli, among a number of other sporting and cultural activities. The events are being held on the banks of the Kapila River at Suttur Srikshetra in commemoration of Adi Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Shivayogi Swami, who founded the Sri Veerasimhasana Mahasamsthana Mutt at Suttur Srikshethra.

Previously, a similar explosion had occurred when a giant balloon arranto welcome Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Mandya in March 2018.

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