One person died and 53 were injured in fire cracker-related incidents in the city during Deepavali celebrations on Tuesday. A 67-year-old camphor seller died in a fire at a Tiruvottiyur temple on Tuesday. While 37 cases of injuries due to cracker-related incidents were reported from hospitals in the city, 16 were reported from the suburbs.

The fire broke out at the Vadivudai Amman temple at Tiruvottiyur after a rocket fell on the scaffolding erected around the temple.

The scaffolding had been covered with palm leaves which caught fire. A part of the burning scaffolding fell on Kaliamurthy who was injured and later succumbed to his injuries. Of the 37 injured in the city, five persons were admitted as inpatients in various hospitals and the rest were treated as outpatients. Data collected by Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) indicated that

a person had lost three fingers while trying to light an ‘atom bomb’ cracker in his hand.

The Government Kilpauk Hospital, which has a dedicated Burns Ward, treated 12 cases on Tuesday alone. Since the beginning of November, the hospital had treated 26 persons for cracker-related injuries. Of these, 17 patients sustained injuries to the hand. The youngest among the injured is an 18-month-old girl who was injured in the mouth by a sparkler and the oldest was a 53-year-old man who was injured in the hand while lighting a flowerpot.

According to V. Jayaraman, head, Department of Burns, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, all the patients had come directly to the hospital for treatment. The child had been watching the sparkler light up and thus sustained injuries.

The GVK EMRI ‘108’ ambulance service recorded 123 burn and rescue-related calls on November 12 across the State.

“On any given day we get 40 to 50 burns and rescue calls. During Deepavali the number of emergency calls just doubled. Normally we get 2,200 emergency calls, but on Tuesday it was 4,086,” said an official.

TNFRS officers said there have been many awareness programmes, “But no one seems bothered. We have been warning against bursting crackers while holding them. Last year there were rains and accidents were fewer. This year as it was sunny more people were outside bursting crackers. Luckily there was no casuality,” said an officer.

Fires caused by fireworks, mostly rockets, were reported in Pallavaram, Chromepet, Selaiyur, Tambaram and Perungalathur among other areas. However, no one was hurt.  

At Selaiyur, a thatched hut on the terrace of a house belonging to Ammavasai, an ex-serviceman caught fire.

He said that the hut was completely gutted and that gold jewels weighing around 15 sovereigns were destroyed. 

Furniture and household appliances were damaged at the house of Elumalai in Gundumedu, Perungalathur. At the intersection of Gandhi Road and Mudichur Main Road, a paper godown was damaged, according to Firemen.

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