New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - The Indian Bishops are saddened by the tragic explosion that took place yesterday morning, April 10, in a local Hindu temple near Kollam in the Indian state of Kerala, where over 100 people were killed and over 350 seriously injured. In a statement sent to Fides, the Bishops' Conference shares the pain and grief of the families, praying for the repose of the souls of the dead. At the same time "the neighboring dioceses, Catholic hospitals and social service centers are being alerted, so that they offer all possible assistance to the injured and to all those involved in this tragedy".
Fifteen thousand people had gathered in the temple and the streets around, to watch the fireworks that marked the beginning of the Hindu New Year. A huge fire broke out suddenly, according to the reconstruction of the police. Rescue teams worked through the night to recover the bodies, help the wounded and extinguish the flames.
Pope Francis sent, through the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, a telegram of condolence for "the tragic fire in the temple complex". "Praying for all those who have been affected by this tragedy", reads the text , "Pope Francis invokes divine blessings of strength and peace on the Indian nation". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/04/2016)