Three persons, including a child, were killed in an explosion that in a firecrackers godown at Ellappanpettai near here on Sunday night. Two others who suffered burns are battling for life in JIPMER, Puducherry.

The dead were identified as the godown owner T. Sivakolundu (60), S. Appu alias Sarathkumar (21) and S. Tharun (9). Those admitted to hospital are S. Santhanam (7) and R. Rajesh (23).

Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam called on the families on Monday. He told them that he had written to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi seeking compensation. Police said that Sivakolundu, a licensed dealer, had stacked the firecrackers near a shed housing the pump-set in a farmhouse. The blaxt might have occurred by sparks from the motor when it was switched on. The brick and mortar structure was razed, trapping all the five. On hearing the noise, villagers rushed to the spot and arranged for an earth-mover to clear the rubble. Sivakolundu was found dead under the debris while Appu and Tharun died in hospital.