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Three Dead in Explosion at Fireworks Factory in TN’s Virudhunagar

Of the 4 rescued, 3 succumbed to burn injuries and one is undergoing treatment at Sivakasi Government Hospital

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Three people died in a blast at a colour matches factory in Virudhunagar district on Saturday, 13 March. The incident took place at around 4 pm, leaving four people injured, three of whom suffered severe burns and later succumbed in hospital.

The explosion took place at Durga Match Factory in Gurumoorthy Naicken Patti, in the Virudhunagar district.  The four people who had been working in the unit were rescued by Fire and Rescue Services personnel and rushed to the Sivakasi Government Hospital.

Those who were rescued have been identified as Pudhiyaraja, Natarajan, Veerachami and Panjavarnam. Of the four, Pudhiyaraja succumbed to burns late on Saturday night, while Natarajan and Veerachami died early Sunday morning. Panjavarnam is currently undergoing treatment.

The police have registered an FIR against the two people in charge of the factory, and currently on the lookout for them.

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In February, at least 19 people died and nearly 35 people were injured when an explosion took place in a firecracker factory in Virudhunagar. The Prime Minister of the country and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu announced compensation for those who were injured and for the families of those who had died. Many leaders expressed their grief at the incident. The continuous spate of fire accidents in firework factories in Virudhunagar district has put a spotlight on the lack of safety measures being deployed in such units.

As per reports, the General Secretary of the Indian Fireworks’ Manufacturers Association attributed the major cause of such accidents to the leasing system that is prevalent in the industry. He requested that the administration take stringent action against those who break the law and indulge in unscrupulous leasing. Virudhunagar district has around 1000 licensed firework factories that produce fancy fireworks and colour matches which they ship internationally.

(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)

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