14 die as blasts rip through 2 fire works units near Sivakasi

At least 14 people died in explosions in two firecracker factories in Sivakasi area in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday evening, police said.

The first explosion occurred at the Rengapalayam village near Srivilliputhur around 2.30pm, killing 13 workers. A preliminary inquiry found that the factory stocked the firecrackers in a room without obtaining necessary permission.

“The firecrackers suddenly exploded, killing 13 of the 15 people who were at the spot,” an official said, on condition of anonymity. The injured were admitted at a local government hospital and were undergoing treatment.

Police were able to identify only eight bodies till Tuesday evening.

The owner had been running the firecracker unit with a license from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization, but didn’t have permission to store and pack in the same place, the official said. “The owner has been arrested and his license has been suspended,” the official added.