House destroyed in explosion in Kollam
Staff Reporter, The Hindu, Saturday, Mar 25, 2006
|Illegally stored explosives cause explosion|
BLAST SITE: The remains of a concrete house that was blown up at Edakkad, near Kollam, on Friday when explosives stored inside exploded.
KOLLAM: A concrete house at Edakkad near Sasthamcotta Malanada Temple was blown up in an explosion around 12 noon on Friday. There were no casualties.
The police said that the explosion was triggered when a huge amount of explosives illegally stored inside got ignited.
Friday was the main festival day of Malanada Temple. The police said that a good portion of the explosives was meant for thanksgiving rituals at the temple by devotees.
By noon on Friday, more then 108 devotees had registered at the temple for the thanksgiving ritual. Members of the temple committee informed that the rituals had been cancelled in view of the explosion.
The pyrotechnic expert Edakkad George had taken the house on rent to store explosives.
Eyewitnesses said that the explosion took place in four phases. There were three small explosions initially, which gave the opportunity for those near the building to escape.
The fourth explosion was a big one, which blew up the house. The sound of this explosion could be heard several kilometres away. The temple committee members said that the entire cache of explosives stored in the house was not meant for Friday’s rituals at the temple.
It was meant for similar rituals and pyrotechnic shows at other temples too.
When contacted, Controller of Explosives R. Venugopal said that his office had not given an authorisation or licence for Malanada Temple to conduct fireworks rituals. The explosives for the purpose were stored illegally without obtaining the mandatory Form-29 licence under the Explosives Rules 1983.
Mr. Venugopal said that he would be inspecting the site on Saturday morning for an on-the-spot study.
On the main festival day of this temple in 1990, a huge amount of explosives meant for pyrotechnic display had exploded killing 33 persons present there to witness the display.