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One killed, 5 suffer burns in cracker unit explosion

Special Correspondent
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Injured persons are natives of Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu

: One person was killed and five others, including a woman, suffered serious burns in an explosion at a fireworks unit at Pattazhi in Kollam district on Sunday. The deceased was identified as Paramasivam Ayyadurai, 32, a native of Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu. The explosion occurred at 3 p.m. while work was in progress at the unit.

Among those injured is Shailaja, 52, wife of the owner of the unit, Kallara Ajayan. The other four injured are also natives of Virudhunagar. Three of them were identified as Chinna Arasan, 30, Ponnuswamy, 47 and Periyaswamy, 49. One person is yet to be identified.

All the injured suffered over 80 per cent burns and are highly critical. They were admitted to the Medical College Hospital (MCH), Thiruvananthapuram.

Since the cracker unit was located in an isolated area, it took some time for rescue workers, including the Fire and Rescue Services personnel, to reach the spot. A fleet of eight fire tenders fought the flames for two hours.

Mr. Ajayan is a pyrotechnic expert and the licence of the unit is in the name of his daughter, Swathi. The person killed in the explosion and the four others injured were workers at the unit. Ms. Shailaja had gone to inspect work at the unit.

Those injured were initially taken to the Kottarakara Taluk Hospital and later referred to the MCH. Paramasivam’s body is kept at the Kottarakara hospital mortuary. Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Kodikunnil Suresh, District Collector B. Mohanan and Superintendent of Police (Kollam Rural), P.K. Rajagopal visited the site.


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