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More than 70 killed in south India temple fire

More than 70 people were killed in a massive fire that broke out early Sunday in a temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala, a top official said.

Another 200 have been injured as people became trapped by flames in the crowded Paravoor temple in Kollam city during a major festival, said State Home Minister Ramesh Chennitala.

The fire started when a spark during a fireworks display ignited a separate batch of fireworks that had been stored in the temple in preparation for the Hindu new year festival called Vishu this coming Thursday, he said.

The fireworks erupted in a big explosion. The temple was gutted as huge flames engulfed the building within minutes, trapping devotees within the temple, he said.

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