9 dead, many injured in cracker factory blast in Cuddalore, CM announces solatium

Nine people were killed and many others suffered injuries in an explosion at a firecrackers’ factory in Cuddalore district. Police and rescue teams were rushed to the site at the factory in Kattumannarkoil, 190 km from state capital Chennai.

The intensity of the blast was such that it completely damaged and brought down the structure.

Police and firefighters were rushed to the accident site and a probe has been launched to find out what caused the explosion. Visuals showed shell-shocked people crying near the debris of a concrete structure that collapsed in the explosion. Bodies could be seen lying around.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who expressed his condolences to the bereaved families, announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh each to them.

The industrial accident happened at a time when the state government has allowed industries to resume work with 100 per cent workforce amid the coronavirus crisis.

“It is a licenced unit near Kattumannarkoil. All of them were workers. Investigation is on into whether they were making country-made bombs and whether they were using only permitted explosives,” Cuddalore Superintendent of Police Sree Abhinav said.

Fireworks manufacturing is a big business in India, with firecrackers often used in festivals and weddings. Many illegal factories with little safety precautions produce firecrackers that are cheaper to buy than legally made ones.