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A series of explosions early Sunday caused by a fireworks display during a religious festival at a temple left 106 people dead and hundreds more injured in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the local authorities said.
P. T. Chacko, a spokesman for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala, said that the fireworks display had been specifically forbidden by officials in the coastal district of Kollam but that the Puttingal temple had gone ahead anyway.
One of the devices landed in the building where the fireworks were being stored, setting off explosions that leveled several buildings, killing and injuring people, K.Hari Kumar, a fire officer at the scene, said in a telephone interview.
“Fragments of the building with huge pieces of burnt crackers were flying all over,” said Rajendran, 36, a mason who goes by one name. He had traveled with friends from his village 20 miles away to attend the festivities, which marked the start of the new year on the Hindu calendar.
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