Gross violation of safety norms at a cracker unit near Chekkanoorani, about 30 km from here, most likely led to a blast in which four persons were killed and 18 others injured on Tuesday evening.
The deceased were identified by the police as Pothummani, Chinnaponnu,Prabhu and Vijaya. While the first two died on the spot, the others succumbed to their injuries at the Government Rajaji hospital.
“The accident occurred at around 5.30 p.m. while mixing firecracker chemicals outside the unit in the open space. All the injured have been shifted to the GRH,” the District Collector, L. Subramanian, said after inspecting the accident spot. Safety norms prescribe that chemicals should be mixed before noon, when the ambient temperature is low, in the designated mixing shed, not out in the open. “We heard a loud explosion in the evening. We did not dare to go near the factory fearing more explosions,” said Meena, who lives near the factory.
In the impact of the blast, one of bodies was hurled over the top of a tin-roofed shed, over 50 feet away. Blood stains were found at the accident spot. After inspecting the site, Tirumangalam MLA, M. Muthuramalingam, said that people were working overtime to meet Deepavali orders.