A gunpowder manufacturing unit at M. Uthukuli near Palladam exploded while production was under way on Sunday night.
Since the unit adopted automated technology, no person was there inside the building at the time of accident.
Though the building housing the production unit was completely destroyed, a big danger was averted as the explosion did not affect the other buildings including godowns stacking raw materials situated on the 26-acre premises of the main unit.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Palladam sub-division) R. Suresh Kumar told The Hindu that the reason for the explosion was to be ascertained.
Mr. Suresh Kumar said that the unit, running since 2002, possesses a valid licence to produce gunpowder till 2014.
“The unit produces gunpowder by mixing potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal through mechanised process for Army as well as for firecracker manufacturing units in Sivakasi,” he added.
According to the DSP, about 50 kg of gunpowder has been under production when the blast occurred. The Kamanaickenpalayam police have registered a case. Investigation is on.