Christmas festivities cancelled after fire deaths

December 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Church, India, newsletter-india, West Bengal

CancelKalkata, December 12, 2011: Christians in Kolkata have canceled Christmas festivities due to start Monday in order to pray for victims of Friday’s hospital blaze which killed 92 people.

“We had planned week-long Christmas festivities, the first such program to be held in the city,” said Father Dominic Gomes, public relations officer of Calcutta archdiocese.

Father Gomes said the archdiocese had invited state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to open the festivities along with Coadjutor Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta.

“We decided to forgo the festivities to remember the fire victims,” he added.

The archdiocese has also canceled the lighting of a huge Christmas tree at the event. Instead, organizers plan to hold an inter-faith prayer meet in a park later Monday.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the fire at the Advanced Medical Research Centre rose to 92 when another patient died Sunday.

The chief minister has ordered a judicial probe into the tragedy. The government had earlier revoked the license of the private hospital.

The dead included two nurses, one a Catholic, who died while trying to rescue patients. Other staff members reportedly fled after the fire broke out.

During Sunday Mass, churches in Kolkata prayed for the victims. Several Catholic priests had also attended an interfaith prayer meeting to remember the victims the previous day.

On Saturday, students from the Don Bosco School at Park Circus began their annual sports day after observing one-minute’s silence.

– ucan

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