Four employees working in a fire cracker unit near here, died on the spot after a powerful blast demolished the godown in which they were handling chemicals for making roll caps.

The victims, all workers of the Shreenivas Amores Industries located at V. Chockalingapuram near here, were identified as S. Marimuthu Thevar (60) of Sadanandapuram, G. Sankaralingam (58) R. Sundararajan (55) and K. Murugan(50) of Periya Vadiyur. S. Dharmaraj (55) and U. Mariappan (58) of Periya Vadiyur were grievously injured and have been admitted at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. This is the second incident in the fire cracker unit after a blast in 1986 which resulted in the death of two employees.

The officials who inspected the spot said that friction while handling chemicals could have led to the accident, killing the men on the spot.

The Revenue Divisional Officer, Arumai Nayagam and Tahsildar Maray Clara of Virudhunagar visited the spot and also met the family members of the victims and handed over Rs. 10,000 each for the last rites.

Solatium ordered

In Chennai, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has ordered payment of solatium to the family members of the four persons killed at the cracker unit. Expressing deep condolences, Ms. Jayalalithaa urged the district administration and medical practitioners to offer good medical treatment to the injured persons. A solatium of Rs.1 lakh each to the family members of the deceased and Rs. 25,000 each to two injured persons will be paid from the Chief Minister's General Relief Fund, a release said.

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