All the four accidents reveal a whole gamut of violation of safety measures or lackadaisical attitude of fireworks manufacturers and workers, and negligence on the part of officials.

Four cracker-related accidents across the district in 11 days, which killed 12 people and injured nine, have again brought to the fore the shortcomings in the monitoring by Central and State agencies of licensed and illegal units, besides stock-piling of the deadly stuff at homes.

All the four accidents reveal a whole gamut of violation of safety measures or lackadaisical attitude of fireworks manufacturers and workers, and negligence on the part of officials.

In the first accident on June 23, failure to adopt minimum pre-caution while setting on fire waste materials at a cracker unit led to the death of a worker. “Since the injury was in the chest, it looked like he was too close to the waste materials, violating the norm of minimum safe distance,” a revenue officer said.

The second incident at another licensed unit near Malli claimed the lives of three workers involved in making fancy-crackers. While a friction during handling of chemicals is said to have caused the accident at the fag end of working hours, the circumstances were still under probe. The official said the labourers might have been in a hurry to finish off the work, and this could have caused the blast.

However, the other two cases are classic examples of failure on the part of the district administration to crack down on illegal cracker-making units or illegal storage points.

A senior police officer said it was not possible for the police to monitor all houses in the district for illegal-making or storage of crackers. “People should help us by passing on information.”

However, residents of Ondipuli Naickanoor complained to the Collector and the Superintendent of Police that no action was taken on the illegal fuses-making units functioning in the village. An explosion at one of the illegal units, run by a ruling party functionary, killed not only three workers but also two children playing on a nearby street and an aged woman. Flying debris fatally knocked them down, and injured eight others on the street.

The allegation of the villagers is vindicated by a raid by the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit on the same illegal unit on March 15. “Had there been stringent action and continuous monitoring of this particular unit by the police, the accident could have been averted,” a villager told the officials.

“It is a common sense to presume where the fuses made by illegal units go. Even many of the licensed cracker units are regular suppliers of raw materials and take the finished fuses for the crackers made at their units,” a police officer said.

The officer said such units thrived on licensed cracker-manufacturers and wanted the district administration to revive the idea of creating a common facility centre for illegal units to ensure the safety of workers and residents of the nearby dwelling units.