Four people were killed and one other was injured in an explosion at a fireworks manufacturing unit in Virudhunagar district on Saturday.
At the unit in Kakkivadanpatti village, Sivakasi, Virudhunagar, A Krishnan (40) of Vilampatti and A Mariappan (35) of Sannasipatti died on the spot, while M Pandi (35) of Duraisamypuram, who suffered 90 per cent burns, died without responding to treatment at Sivakasi Government Hospital. Ponnusamy (40), of Mamsapuram, who suffered 95 per cent burns, also could not be saved. Another victim, Devi (37), of Sannasipatti, suffered minor burns and is out of danger.
The incident occurred when the workers were filling chemicals into crackers at their unit, Virudhunagar District Fire Officer K Karuppaiah, said. Soaring room temperatures and friction could be the reasons behind the explosion. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames. Sivakasi station fire officer KP Balamurugan said three fire accidents have taken place in cracker units in parts of Sivakasi since May this year. These fatal mishaps left six people dead and three injured, he added.
With more than 900 cracker manufacturing units now operational in Sivakasi, norms of the Explosives Rules, 2008, are hardly followed, Karuppaiah told DTNext. The rules say that a unit should have an 18-metre gap and a rubber sheet and it is also essential to have copper plates to absorb sudden discharge of static electricity. Doors of work rooms should be kept closed to avoid the wind, he added.
Another dead in mishap
A 28-year-old man was killed and two others were injured in an explosion at an illegal firecrackers manufacturing unit near Athur in Salem.