Blaze broke out near dryer in the unit, during night shift

A fire broke out in the Industrial Cooperative (INDCO) Tea Factory at Kinnakorai, a remote part of The Nilgiris, on Tuesday.

Enquiries made by The Hindu revealed that during the small hours of the day when about 10 workers were on night shift, a fire had broken out near a dryer of the factory.

Before the workers could react, it had spread to the loft and the troughs. All the parts including fans and the tea which was being processed were charred. Providentially no one was injured.

On seeing the flames leaping out of the factory, scores of villagers had rushed to the spot in a bid to extinguish the fire. With Fire and Rescue Services personnel from Ooty and Coonoor reaching the factory located about 30 kilometres from Manjoor, the fire was brought under control.

An electrical short circuit was suspected to be the cause of the accident. While officials estimated the loss due to the blaze to be around Rs. 30 lakh, observers said that it could be more.

The Nilgiris Collector P. Sankar, inspected the factory early in the morning.

Tamil Nadu Minister for Rural Industries P.Mohan who inspected the factory on Tuesday evening, asked the officials concerned to set right the damage within 20 days and resume production. He added that the government will extend necessary help.

Meanwhile officials said that until the repairs are carried out, the raw tea leaves supplied by the members of the Kinnakorai INDCO tea factory would be diverted to the INDCO factories at Manjoor and nearby places.

More In: Coimbatore