Madurai

Violation of safety norms found at cracker unit

Crackers stocked in the office room of Rajalakshmi Fireworks near T. Kallupatti where a fire claimed seven lives on Friday.  

Madurai

Rajalakshmi Fireworks near T. Kallupatti where a fire accident claimed seven lives on Friday was found to have blatantly violated safety rules by allowing too many workers and illegally making aerial fireworks.

A team of officials from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), Sivakasi, on Saturday inspected the scene of accident. “The major violation in the unit, licensed by District Revenue Officer, was that it employed more workers than the permitted number,” Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, R. Sundaresan said. The unit has two mound walls and two working sheds. Each mound wall can have only two employees and each working shed can have four workers. “It means the unit could have employed a maximum of 12 workers whereas there were at least 35 workers at the time of accident,” he added.

Allowing too many workers had led to increased death toll. Other major violation was that the shed had been used by multiple leases. “We have found labels of at least two fireworks companies on the premises of the unit. Only one entity is allowed to operate the unit under Explosives Rules,” Mr. Sundaresan said.

Since different companies had deployed their workers, the crowded employees had been working under the shade of trees whereas they are supposed to work within the working sheds.

They had also violated the safety norms by unauthorised stocking of finished and semi-finished goods at different places like the office room and laboratory.

While the units licensed by DRO have limited facilities, they were allowed to manufacture very limited types and quantity of fireworks. However, here they were making aerial and fancy fireworks goods violating the license conditions.

PESO would send its report to Madurai district administration for further action.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 4:05:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/violation-of-safety-norms-found-at-cracker-unit/article32937140.ece

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