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TN cracker factory explosion kills one
By Nirmala Joseph January 23, 2013
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CHENNAI: An illegal fireworks factory exploded in a massive blaze in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi district on Tuesday, leaving a worker dead.

Selvaraj, 40, was charred to death in the blast triggered by an inferno at the private fireworks factory at Sengamalapatti village near Sivakasi.

Police said Selvaraj was engaged in mixing highly inflammable chemicals for manufacturing “Ground Chakkar” fancy variety crackers at Vinodha Fireworks Factory, when the mishap occurred due to friction.

The fire followed by huge explosion razed down one of the ten manufacturing units inside the factory.

Preliminary reports said at least 20 workers were engaged in manufacturing fancy variety crackers in other units. All of them ran out of safety after witnessing the fire.

Shortly after the mishap, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services personnel from Sivakasi rushed to the spot and prevented the fire being spread to other units.

The charred body of Selvaraj was removed to the government hospital.

Senior revenue and police officials rushed to the factory and held inquiry over the safety measures.

This is the second fire accident reported in Virudhunagar district this month, where as many as 689 licensed fireworks factories and several illegal fireworks factories were functioning.

On Jan.11, three workers were killed and two others critically injured in an inferno that swept through a fireworks factory at Sinthapalli village.

Last year, the district witnessed a series of blasts in fireworks factories that includes the catastrophic inferno at Om Shakthi Fireworks Factory, a de-licensed unit at Mudalipatti village here.

The fire claimed 38 lives and left 60 people injured, forcing the State government to take a slew of measures to enforce safety measures.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced a compensation of Rs100,000 to the family of a worker killed in a Metro rail site mishap on Jan.10.

She announced granting the sum from the Chief Minister’s General Relief Fund to the family of Dimple Shah and Rs25,000 each, to two persons undergoing treatment at a hospital for injuries sustained in the same mishap, officials said.

Dimple Shah was killed when a launching girder crashed at a Metro rail construction site in Chennai on Jan.10.

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