In a tragic incident, one person was killed and at least six others injured in a fireworks explosion during a religious gathering at Eraviperoor in Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district on Saturday morning. Some reports suggest that the explosion took place at a warehouse that stored fireworks, while others say that the explosion happened near the warehouse, while fireworks were being ignited as part of the celebrations.
The incident happened around 9 am when the fireworks were being ignited as a Vazhipad – an offering to God – by the devotees. The firework display was a part of the Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha’s annual celebrations of Poykalyil Kumara Guru’s birth anniversary.
The Sabha is a religious protest movement and Kumara Guru is its founder. The accident happened at the headquarters of the Sabha.
The identities of the deceased and the injured are yet to be known. “We are yet to trace the details, a police team is currently assessing the situation.” Thiruvalla police told TNM.
According to initial reports, three of the injured are people who came to take part in the celebrations, while the other three are workers who made the fireworks.
The deceased was taken to the Pushpagiri Medical College in Thiruvalla. The injured have been admitted at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam. Three of the injured are reportedly in a serious condition.
Pathanamthitta Additional District Magistrate Sasidharan told media that the organisers had not obtained a license for the fireworks display at the festival. The celebrations, a huge annual programme of the Daiva Sabha, began on February 13 and are set to conclude on Sunday.
One of the Daiva Sabha leaders told media that since the firework igniting was done as a vazhipad, on a small scale they were not aware that a license was needed for it.