Fireworks are an integral part of any modern celebration in India. They're also very often deadly. From accidents at the factories where they are made to careless management of the fireworks at events, safety issues have been rampant. On Sunday, a stack of fireworks outside the Puttingal temple in Kollam, Kerala caught fire because of an errant cracker, leading to massive explosions (see above) that have killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more.
The explosion was caused when the storehouse of the fireworks material caught fire, according to The Hindu. More than 15,000 people had gathered at the temple for a fireworks display ahead of the Vishu new year festival on April 14. Authorities have filed a case against the temple authorities, with NDTV reporting that officials are investigating whether "competitive fireworks" were the cause behind the tragedy.
The event seems even more outrageous because preliminary reports suggest that temple authorities might not even have had permission for a fireworks display. The NewsMinute reports that the Kollam Additional District Magistrate had denied permission for the annual competitive fireworks in which "two temple priests attempt to outdo each other."
The fire has been brought under control, but rescue teams are continuing to look through the wreckage in the hope of saving those who were hurt in the explosions.