Kochi: A massive explosion at a firecracker storage in Tripunithura's Choorakkad claimed one life and left several injured on Monday morning. According to reports, firecrackers were taken to the residential area for fireworks at the nearby Puthiyakavu temple. However, the district authority and police have confirmed that neither the temple committee nor any person sought permission to store firecrackers in the house at Choorakkad.
Meanwhile, police clarified that they have denied permission for fireworks at Puthiyakavu temple. On Sunday, police registered a case against the temple committee for a fireworks display without seeking permission.
District collector N S K Umesh and the Fire Force authority also asserted that they have not received any request for taking explosives for the temple festival.
It is learnt firecrackers were taken to the temple festival evading the police order.
A vacant house in the residential area was converted into a godown for storing the firecrackers. This house and the vehicle that carried the explosives were completely destroyed in the blast. As per the preliminary inquiry, the firecrackers exploded due to the extreme heat.
Local residents told the media that they heard four explosions from the accident spot. Flames from the explosives burnt a huge mango tree.
Over 30 houses were damaged in the explosion. A medical team reached the area and administered first aid to people who complained of uneasiness. Several people including the elderly and children were taken to hospitals.
Health Minister Veena George has instructed the director of health services to assure expert medical care to the injured. Ernakulam district medical officer has taken action to make necessary arrangements at Kalamassery Government Medical College Hospital and Ernakulam General Hospital. More Kanivu 108 ambulances would be deployed in the area to provide medical assistance, health officials said.