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9 Killed, 20 Injured in a Fire in Tamil Nadu

9 Killed, 20 Injured in a Fire in Tamil Nadu

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NEW DELHI, Feb 12: Nine workers including a woman were killed and at least 20 others were wounded, six of them very critically, in a fire accident in a firecracker unit in Vembakottai in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu on Friday afternoon. The possibility of some more workers having remained trapped inside the blazing factory is not ruled out.

“So far, nine workers have lost their lives. Six more have been critically injured and they have been admitted to the government hospital in Sivakasi,” Virudhunagar Collector, R. Kannan, said.

The identity of the deceased is yet to be established, as the bodies are charred beyond recognition, according to police.

The accident occurred at around 1.30 p.m. at Mariyammal Fireworks at Achchankulam under the Ezhayirampannai police station limits. The unit is manufacturing firecrackers for a couple of years. As per local reports, firecrackers that were stored in close to six rooms at the factory caught fire one after another leading to a huge blast.

Apart from 108 ambulances that ferried the injured to the hospitals, local people used private ambulances and other vehicles to rush them to the hospitals.

“Twenty-two workers were admitted to the government hospital at Sattur. All of them have suffered less than 50% burns,” police said.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel were trying to put out the flames as of late Friday afternoon. With the chemicals still bursting, firemen were struggling to enter the unit.

Fire tenders from Sattur, Vembakottai and Sivakasi have been pressed into service, fire brigade sources said.

The prime minster Narendra Modi, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and others have condoled the deaths of the fire victims. The prime minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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