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Indian Temple Fire Suspects Surrender to Police

  • Wayne Lee

Indian policemen guard the damaged structures at the spot where a massive fire broke out during a fireworks display at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village, Kollam district, southern Kerala state, India, Monday, April 11, 2016.

Indian policemen guard the damaged structures at the spot where a massive fire broke out during a fireworks display at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village, Kollam district, southern Kerala state, India, Monday, April 11, 2016.

At least five men wanted in connection with a fire that killed at least 116 people at a southern Indian temple are in custody after surrendering to police.

Police say for two days, they had been hunting for the men who fled after a massive explosion during a banned fireworks display tore through concrete buildings Sunday at the Hindu Puttingal Devi temple complex in the village of Paravoor in Kerala state.

The five are among the temple board members and associates of firework contractors who police are investigating for possible charges of attempted murder and culpable homicide, both punishable by life imprisonment, and illegally storing explosives.

The fire occurred after thousands of people packed the temple to celebrate Vishu, a festival that signifies the Hindu New Year.

A stray firework landed on a stockpile of fireworks, triggering the blast.

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