Nine persons were killed and five others injured in a blast at a licensed cracker unit at Ozhukachery village, about 2 km from Anaikarai near Kumbakonam on Friday. The unit was functioning on a paddy field. The licence holder is Dhanalakshmi of Ozhukachery, and her son Krishnamurthy was managing the unit.

Besides making crackers, the unit used to purchase from Sivakasi and sell the crackers.

Five workers were killed on the spot, while three lost their lives on way to hospital. Another died at the Kumbakonam government hospital.

Eight of the victims were identified as Vanitha (30), Ananthi (17), Venkatesh (17), Sridhar, Anand, Ranjith, Rajkumar and Mukesh-all belonging to Ozhukachery village. A body of a woman was yet to be identified.

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