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6 killed, 3 hurt in cracker unit blast at Mannargudi
Six persons were killed and three others injured in a blast at a cracker manufacturing unit at Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district on Wednesday.
The unit had been functioning on the northern bank of Pamaniyaru river in Mannai P Narayanasamy Nagar for more than 40 years in a 200 sqft concrete building. There were around 50 thatched and tile-roofed houses nearby. Due to the increased demand for crackers in few of the Panguni festival and election campaign, 10 labourers worked while night on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning, the owner of the unit, T Singaravel (60) of Azad Street, went there disburse the employees' wages. The unit blasted within a fewminutes after he reached and there were around 10 blasts, till the entire building collapsed.
Residents reported that there were tremors asan aftereffect and the entire area was covered in smoke. They also found a body under a tree.
An earth moving equipment was engaged to clear the rubble and five more charred bodies were retrieved. Two persons with grievous injuries and one with minor injury were rescued and sent to hospitals.
The deceased were identified as Singaravel, his father-in-law M Veeraiyan (65), workers S Mohan (55) of Mannai Nagar, P Babu (40) of Azad Street, K Arivunidhi (28) of Gandhiji Road, Suresh (40) of Vadacherry. A Sheik (28), R Somasundaram (55) and V Muthu (28) are being treated at Thanjavur Medical College Hospital and Mannargudi Government Hospital.
The fire and rescue personnel from Mannargudi, Needamangalam and Kottur fire station doused the fire. While the manufacturing unit building was crumbled in the blast, the storeroom with an asbestos roof few yards away was spared. Also, windshield of Singaravel's car was damaged.
District Additional Superintendent of Police, Tiruvarur, R John Joseph, Mannargudi DSP V Karthik, Revenue Divisional Officer S Dhanakodi, Tashildar P Lakshmi and Commissioner of Mannargudi municipality G Viswanathan visited the spot and conducted inquiries.