Thripunithura blast site looks like a war-ravaged area

February 12, 2024 08:41 pm | Updated February 13, 2024 08:01 am IST - KOCHI

Mangled remains of a car which was destroyed in the explosion at a firecracker storage unit at Choorakkadu in Thripunithura on Monday.

Mangled remains of a car which was destroyed in the explosion at a firecracker storage unit at Choorakkadu in Thripunithura on Monday. | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

The site of the explosion that rocked Choorakkadu on Monday looked ravaged by a war.

A structure that once stood there was blown to smithereens. There was a fully charred vehicle, that seemed like the van that had allegedly transported the firecrackers, and another partly blown away car.

A team from Thripunithura fire station with three fire tenders and led by Station Officer K.V. Manoharan rushed to the spot. Alerts also went out to Gandhi Nagar and Thrikkakara fire stations as well though their service was not needed eventually. It was not easy to access the blast site as the road leading there was narrow.

“We had started watering down the fire when we noticed an injured man and then we found five more from different points of the plot. We rushed them to the waiting ambulances. We have no clue about how the car landed up there,” said Mr. Manoharan.

Parts of the vehicle that was fully blown away were found dumped in multiple properties in the neighbourhood. A part of it could be seen hanging from a tree opposite the blast site. Houses with roof tiles blown away could be seen as far as the eye could reach.

In the middle of the blast site stood a desolate tree stripped of branches and leaves consumed by fire. Uprooted electric poles and dangerously low hanging cables marked the road. An excavator had a tough time clearing the rubble piled up in layers.

As curious onlookers kept flocking in, the police had a tough time and had to cordon off a larger area beyond the blast site. A public announcement was made, warning people about more blasts that could be caused by possible live firecrackers strewn around. Firefighters kept watering the site to avert such an eventuality.

When asked about the illegal firecracker storage centre, Sudha Suresh, the Puthiyakavu division councillor, said the Karayogam plot was used for it every year during the temple festival. Asked whether it had the licence, she was evasive and said that permission might have been taken by the organisers.

Valsalakumari, a resident in the neighbourhood, was furious and dubbed the incident a murderous act. Most residents shared the sentiment and many could be heard calling for a public movement to avert such tragedies in the future.

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