A blast in a cracker unit in Rajanthangal village near here claimed three young lives.

The licensed cracker unit was manufacturing powerful crackers in one premise and packaging and storing were done in a nearby tiled roof building where the blast occurred.

The building was located amid agricultural lands.

All the three boys working there were killed.

According to police, M. Subash (16) and M. Ayyappan (16) of the Rajanthangal village were torn apart and died instantly while S. Chinnaraj (16) of Pandithapattu village, who sustained grievous injuries, was rushed to Government Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital and died there.

While Subash and Chinnaraj were school dropouts Ayyappan was a class X student of local government school. The explosion had the building completely collapsed.

Road roko

Immediately after the incident people of the village staged road roko and said that they were demanding to remove the unit for long time.

They said their repeated plea to authorities went unheard.

District Collector A. Gnanasekaran and Superintendent of Police J. Mutharasi visited the spot.

Owner arrested

Shanmugam, owner of the unit has been arrested by Vettavalam police.

RDO enquiry to look into details

Mr. Gnanasekaran told The Hindu that “People heard a bang and all the three persons in the unit were killed. We could not immediately ascertain the cause of the accident and know if the unit flouted safety standards. RDO enquiry has been ordered to look into all these details.”