Ujjain Mahakal temple fire: 79-year-old ‘sevak’ among 14 injured, dies | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Ujjain Mahakal temple fire: 79-year-old ‘sevak’ among 14 injured, dies

Apr 10, 2024 12:17 PM IST

A total of 14 people, including priests and 'sevaks', were injured after fire erupted at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain on March 25, during Holi festival.

A 79-year-old ‘sevak’, who was one of the 14 persons injured in a fire at Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain's renowned Mahakaleshwar temple last month, died on Wednesday morning while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Maharashtra, news agency PTI reported citing an official statement.

Relatives and family members outside the burn ward of a hospital where the people who were injured in a fire that broke out in the Mahakal temple are being treated in Ujjain. (PTI) (File)
Relatives and family members outside the burn ward of a hospital where the people who were injured in a fire that broke out in the Mahakal temple are being treated in Ujjain. (PTI) (File)

“Satyanarayan Soni (79), sevadar at the Mahakaleshwar temple, was first sent to a private hospital in Indore and when his condition did not improve, he was admitted to the National Burns Centre in Mumbai,” Ujjain District Collector Neeraj Kumar Singh told PTI.

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"He died during treatment in the hospital in Mumbai. He was already suffering from diabetes," the official said.

The PTI report further quoted the official as saying that three persons who sustained burns in the fire are receiving treatment at the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences in Indore. The remaining injured individuals have fully recovered after receiving medical care.

Fire ‘triggered by gulal’

A total of 14 people, including priests and 'sevaks', were injured after fire erupted at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain on March 25, during the Holi festival. The incident took place during the renowned 'bhasma aarti' ritual when 'gulal' (coloured powder) fell onto the puja thali containing burning camphor, sparking the blaze.

Eyewitnesses reported that 'gulal' was being tossed inside the sanctum sanctorum as part of the Holi celebrations. It is believed that someone inadvertently threw the colored 'gulal' onto an earthen lamp, leading to speculation that the chemicals within the 'gulal' may have ignited the fire.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the accident was “extremely painful”.

“The accident that took place in the Mahakal temple of Ujjain is extremely painful. I wish for the speedy recovery of all the devotees injured in this accident. Under the supervision of the state government, the local administration is engaged in all possible help to the victims,” he said.

Among those injured in the incident is Sanjay Guru, the chief priest of the Bhasma Aarti. At the time of the accident, nine people were reported to be in critical condition and have since been referred to Indore for further treatment. The mishap occurred during Holi celebrations inside the temple, with thousands of devotees present.

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