The bodies of five persons, who were killed in an explosion at Cordite Factory in Aruvankadu on Thursday, were sent to their native places on Friday.
A three-member team headed by S.D. Bhimri, Member, Ammunition and Explosives Organisation, Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata, arrived at the factory to assess the situation.
Additional General Manager Anil Kumar told The Hindu that the body of Gopi, one of the victims, was sent to Namakkal. The others belonged to the Nilgiris. The body of Anand was taken to Odhanatty, Subramanian to Thangadu, Jayaraj to T. Manihatty and Balasubramaniam to Kandhal.
As per the latest government order, compensation would be given to the families of the victims. In addition relief would be extended as per the Workmen Compensation Act.
Replying to a question, Mr. Kumar said that the morale of the workers had not been affected. “But, it will take time for the pall of gloom to lift”.
To another question, Mr. Kumar said that though it was a high intensity blast, the casualty was not high because of safety measures taken to prevent such incidents from having a cascading effect.
Asked about the growing apprehensions about safety among the residents of Aruvankadu and nearby locations, he claimed that the factory and its functioning did not pose a threat to anybody. However, an offsite drill would be organised in association with the district administration shortly to instil confidence among the people. They would be sensitised to the nature of work at the factory.
He pointed out that the factory had recently received a safety award.
The routine at the factory was thrown into disarray on Friday. Attendance in various sections was thin.
By way of paying homage to the victims, the Cordite Factory Higher Secondary School, the Defence Employees Matriculation School and the Kendriya Vidyalaya located within the premises did not function on Friday. At a condolence meeting workers expressed solidarity with the families of the victims.
In a blast in the Nitro-Glycerine section of the factory in 1992, six workers had died.
K. Ramachandran, State Minister in-charge of the Nilgiris, visited the houses of the victims and offered his condolences to the families.