The deceased were identified as shop owner Mohan Reddy (55) of the same town and his two grandsons Thanjuj (8) and Tejas (6). The accident occurred when Mohan Reddy tried to demonstrate how some crackers would burst to convince some customer who had come to his shop on Sunday. The demonstration went awry when some of the crackers zoomed into his shop nearby and exploded. The explosion set off other crackers stored there too resulting in the entire shop going up in flames.
Fire and Rescue service personnel from nearby areas rushed to the spot. They put off the fire and retrieved the three bodies which were then sent to Vellore Government Medical College Hospital for post mortem. Latheri police registered a case and started a probe into the fire.
Collector A Shanmuga Sundaram, Vellore range DIC M Kamini, SP L Selvakumar and DRO J Parthiban visited the accident site.
Collector Shanmuga Sundaram later informed reporters that a request would be sent to the government after May 4 to set up a fire station at either Latheri or nearby KV Kuppam. He also called for a meeting of stake holders, including tahsildars, RDOs, DSPs, district fire service officials, corporation commissioner, municipal commissioners and zonal officers, town panchayat executive officers, BDOs and Tangedco section engineer at the Vellore Collector’s office on Tuesday.
He also ordered that all cracker shops should be compulsorily shut on Sundays and said the proposed meeting would examine the possibility of shifting crackers shops in urban areas to the outskirts in the town.