Kalamassery blasts: Death toll touches 8 as one more woman dies

Lilly. Photo: Special Arrangement

Idukki: The death toll in the multiple bomb blasts that occurred at the convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in Kalamassery on October 29 has reached eight. A retired cooperative bank employee Lilly John, 71, who had suffered burns in the blast, died at a private hospital in Kochi on Thursday afternoon. She is a resident of Vandamattom in Kodikulam Grama Panchayat near Thodupuzha. Lilly’s husband, K V John, who also was injured in the blast, had died on Saturday.

“Both my father and mother, who were injured in the blast had recovered from the burn injuries. But my mother had heart-related issues and was taking medicine for it. On Thursday afternoon, her blood pressure dropped unexpectedly and she died around 4 pm,” son of Lilly, Lijo John said.

Her relatives said that they did not inform Lilly about the death of John considering her health condition. The couple had been associated with Jehovah's Witnesses for the past three decades, they added.

KV John’s funeral was held on Tuesday after the arrival of his son who was working in the US.

Another Thodupuzha resident Kumari Pushpan,53, of Kalathil house, who suffered 90 per cent burns in the blast had succumbed to her injuries earlier.

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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