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Madurai Meenakshi burns; shops and lives perished

It is a common site to see the temple’s surroundings bustled with shops and merchandise. But at times it is so crowded that there is lack of space for proper evacuation and safety measures.

A major fire broke out at Tamil Nadu’s Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple complex last night. More than 30 shops were gutted in the fire. The fire officials say that the fire started at a toy shop inside the thousand pillar hall near the east tower of the temple around 10 pm.

It took 60 fire personnel about five hours to contain the fire. A fire and rescue officials said, “Police is investigating the cause of the fire.”

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However, sources have said that a short circuit could have led to the fire although the exact reason is yet to be ascertained.

There is no human loss or injury. However, many pigeons that had made the temple tower their home perished in the fire.

Madurai collector Veera Raghava Rao told a national channel that the temple has been reopened for devotees. “The fire was controlled before it spread to the main temple area. We’ve ordered a probe,” he said.

Devotees say there were no fire extinguishers or fire safety systems in the temple. The incident was waiting to happen amid demands to remove shops from the temple complex.

Mr. Rao added, “There’s no modern fire safety system with sprinklers installed at the temple. However, we have a dedicated fire engine stationed in the complex.”


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