Tragedy revives agony of Podikkundu residents

On March 24, illegally stored explosives exploded injuring many and damaging several houses

Updated - September 08, 2016 08:09 pm IST

Published - April 11, 2016 12:00 am IST - KANNUR:

The reports of the fireworks explosion at the Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur that killed over 100 people and injured nearly 350 people brought back the agony that the residents of Rajendra Nagar Housing Colony at Podikkundu here went through late night on March 24.

It was that night when large quantities of explosive materials unauthorisedly kept in a house exploded causing damage to scores of houses and injuring some residents.

The residents of the housing colony are still to recover from the explosion caused by the illegally procured explosives by a resident who was involved in supplying explosive materials for making fireworks to be used in temple and other festivals.

The Paravur tragedy in the early hours of Sunday revived what the residents of Podikkundu felt on that night last month.

Many residents felt that it was luck that averted loss of life that night. Nearly 70 houses suffered damage in the explosion.

“It was by sheer luck that many residents suffered minor injuries or escaped unhurt that day,” said Thekkan Balan, whose house sustained severe damage in the explosion as it is close to the house where the explosives had gone off.

So powerful was the explosion that he had thought that it was an earthquake, he said. Mr. Balan, who retired from the Kerala State Electricity Board, said that to avert such accidents in future, culprits involved in illegally storing and supplying the explosives should be given stringent punishment.

Illegal storage and sale of explosive substances in the district raises extra concerns as they are not only used for making crackers but for assembling crude bombs as well.


In the wake of the Podikkundu accident, the police had conducted raids and unearthed illegal explosives.

Though an action committee has been formed to press the government to announce a compensation package for the residents of Podikkundu who had suffered property damage, no decision on compensation has come because of restrictions in place under the election code of conduct.

The action committee’s assessment is that the explosion caused an estimated loss of Rs. 3.5 crore.

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