Kalamassery blast: One more succumbs to injuries, death toll up to 7

KV John. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kochi: A Thodupuzha native became the seventh person to succumb to his injuries in the explosion that happened at a Jehovah's Witnesses convention recently. The deceased is K V John (76) of Vandamattom in Kodikulam panchayat, near Thodupuzha.

A retired revenue department official, John was undergoing treatment at Rajagiri Hospital here. John's wife Lilly (75) had also suffered burn injuries and underwent treatment. John, who was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses congregation for the past 35 years, had suffered 55 per cent burns in the explosion.

“Doctors told us though the burns were cured, there was an infection in his blood. He was also diabetic. Yesterday, his blood pressure came down and his health condition deteriorated. At 4.30 pm, he suffered a cardiac arrest,” his son Jijo K John said. John's funeral date would be decided only after his other son who is in the US arrives, his relatives said.

Another victim of the blast, Kumari Pushpan (53), also was from Thodupuzha. The others who died in the tragedy are Malayattoor native Praveen (26), his sister Libina (12), their mother Saly Pradeep (45), Kalamassery native Molly Joy and Perumbavoor native Leyona Paulose (55).

Over 50 people were injured, some seriously, in the multiple blasts at an international convention centre on October 29. They had gathered for the final day of a three-day-long prayer meeting of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

A few hours after the incident, Dominic Martin, claiming to be an estranged member of the Christian sect, surrendered before the police in Thrissur district, confessing to the crime. The police later recorded his arrest. It is learned that Martin detonated the explosives set inside the hall using remote controls.

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