The death toll in Tuesday's fire in the motor pump room in Meenakshipuram village near Sattur rose to seven as five more victims succumbed to burns on Friday.

Sattur Town Inspector of Police Abdul Lateef (57); Sivakasi Reserve Sub-Inspector of Police M. Ramesh (29); Virudhunagar Armed Reserve Nayak S. Ganesan (36), Sattur Revenue Inspector Rajesh Kannan (34) and Nayak Asaikani (42), Armed Reserve, died in private hospitals in Madurai.

The condition of Revenue Inspector Rajmohan (34) is said to be critical.

Two other victims – Revenue Inspector Chandrasekaran (46) and Village Administrative Officer Kumarasamy (57) had succumbed to burns earlier.

The eight victims, forming part of a team of police and revenue officials, were seriously injured when they tried to remove a huge quantity of illegally manufactured fuse from a motor room in Meenakshipuram near Sattur.

Meanwhile, Ramasubbu (42), owner of the farm in which the fire accident occurred surrendered in a court on Friday.

Solatium

Collector V.K. Shanmugam said Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announced a solatium of Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of the victims. The other two demands too were met. Deputy Inspector-General (Madurai Range) Sandeep Mittal and Superintendent of Police S. Prabhakaran, the Collector and the District Revenue Officer, B. Ganesan, paid homage to the victims.

The District Revenue Officer will hold an enquiry into the cause and the circumstances that led to the fire at 11 a.m. on August 16 at the Collectorate.

All those who have knowledge about the accident can appear before the DRO and tender evidence.

Informed sources said a Magistrate had got dying declarations from some of the victims at the hospital a couple of days ago.

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