At least 13 individuals were tragically killed in two separate fire accidents in Virudhunagar district in south Tamil Nadu on Tuesday afternoon. The first incident, which claimed more lives, took place at a fireworks unit in Rengapalayam near Srivilliputtur. Workers at the unit were conducting tests on the crackers before packing them when the explosion occurred.
It is suspected that the testing may have unintentionally triggered the accident. The exact number of people present in the packing room at the time was not known immediately and the death toll is expected to rise, according to a fire and rescue service official overseeing the operation.
Second fireworks explosion incident
The second incident happened in a fireworks unit in Kichanayakanpatti village in Sivakasi. District Superintendent of Police, R. Srinivasaperumal, visited the scene, and further investigations are ongoing.
Cause of the accidents is yet to be ascertained
Police said while the production of crackers for Deepavali in all authorised units had been completed, some units may still be engaged in packing for dispatch as Deepavali approaches.
Revenue officials in the Virudhunagar district are currently determining whether the unit involved in the accident had the necessary license. Investigators are also working to establish the underlying cause of the fire.
It's worth noting that just last week, a firecracker factory accident in Tamil Nadu's Ariyalur district claimed the lives of nine individuals and left several others injured. According to the Hindustan Times, the mishap occurred at the Yaazh FireWorks facility in the Thirumanur area of the district.
Preliminary reports suggest that the accident occurred as untrained workers were handling chemicals within the factory. When the incident transpired on Monday morning, it resulted in the entrapment of up to 23 workers inside the facility.