The death toll in the fire accident case at the illegal firecracker manufacturing unit at Chinnayathapalem village in Aripaka Panchayat of Sabbavaram mandal in Anakapalli district, rose to two, as another 35-year-old accident victim succumbed to the injuries on Wednesday.
According to the police, N. Durga Prasad (35) from Kancharapalem died while undergoing treatment. Meanwhile, doctors said that the condition of B. Shankar Rao, who was injured in the fire, is critical. The condition of another person G. Kamala Kumari is said to be stable.
One A. Varahalu Rao from Anakapalli town was allegedly manufacturing firecrackers unauthorisedly by hiring some men in an asbestos shed which was located in a coconut grove at Chinnayathapalem. The police said that mishandling of chemicals during their manufacturing was suspected to be reason for the fire on Tuesday. No basic fire preventive measures or at least water/sand buckets were found at the incident site. The police have seized some quantity of potassium, sulphur and a few firecracker material from a storeroom which was located at some distance from the shed.
B. Mahesh (30) from Sabbavaram mandal died on Tuesday evening while undergoing treatment at King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam.
The police have arrested two persons, A. Varahalu Rao from Anakapalli town and S. Pydithalli from Aripaka village, in the case on Wednesday.
Police said that Pydithalli has taken the three acres of land at Aripaka on lease. Varahalu Rao had rented the asbestos shed from him and had been illegally manufacturing firecrackers. Police said that despite knowing about the unauthorised firecracker unit, Pydithalli failed to inform the police.
“Varahalu Rao used to procure raw materials like potassium and sulphur from licensed shop owners at Sabbavaram, Kothapalli, Chodavaram and a few areas in Anakapalli district. He manufactures the firecrackers unauthorisedly and again sells them back to those licensed shopkeepers,” said a senior police officer from Anakapalli district police.
The accused were produced before the court on Wednesday evening.
Further investigation is on and the police are yet to initiate action against the merchants for providing raw materials in an unauthorised manner.
Meanwhile, the district police have started conducting checks at various places to identify such unauthorised firecracker manufacturing units.