Five women were charred to death on Friday after an explosion ripped through a fireworks’ manufacturing unit at Murganeri village in Perayur taluk of Madurai district.
The police have identified the victims as M. Veluthai, 45, of S. Paraipatti; P. Lakshmi, 50, of Kilarpatti; P. Suruliammal, 50, of Govindanallur in Virudhunagar district; K. Ayyammal, 65, of Kadaneri; and S. Kaleeswari, 45, of Athipatti.
R. Sundaramoorthy, 39, of Amathur, P. Lakshmi, 45, and M. Mahalakshmi, 45, from Kadaneri sustained more than 70% burns. They were admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital in a critical condition, the police said.
Expressing deep grief over the death of the workers, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh each to the bereaved families. Those who have suffered serious injuries would be given Rs 1 lakh each, said the CM.
Around 35 employees were working in the unit, which allegedly manufactured fancy crackers. The unit, however, is licensed to manufacture only a certain variety, sources said. Firemen have doused the flames. Collector TG Vinay said that according to the preliminary investigation, they believed there was no violation of norms in the unit.
Mishaps at fireworks units near Madurai and in and around Sivakasi, the fireworks manufacturing hub of the country, are common due to the poor safety measures at these units. Sivakasi accounts for 90 per cent of fireworks that are available in the Indian market