The mishap occurred at a fireworks manufacturing facility in Pudupatti village near Sivakasi.

A worker making fireworks at a workshop: 4 workers were killed in an explosion at a fireworks unit in Tamil Nadu’s VirudhunagarImage for representation/PTI
news Accident Saturday, January 01, 2022 - 17:48

At least four workers were killed and eight others injured in a fire accident at a fireworks unit on Saturday, January 1 at a village near Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district, police said. Citing preliminary information, a police official told PTI that the accident in the premises of a fireworks manufacturing unit involved a blaze and four men were killed and eight others injured. The deceased were identified as Kumar from Mettupatti, Periyasamy from Servaikaranpatti, and Veerakumar and Murugesan from Paraipatti.  

The unit, which employed around 30 people, is located at Mettupatti village near M Pudupatti near Sivakasi, approximately 30 km from Virudhunagar. A probe is on and the cause of the accident would also be ascertained, the police official told PTI, adding the fireworks manufacturing facility appeared to be licensed. The accident took place on the morning of Saturday, January 1, and fire and rescue personnel were working to douse the flame.

The firecracker unit is reportedly owned by Vazhividu Murugan of Pudupatti and the explosion took place at a chemical blending unit, according to IANS. Fire force teams from Sivakasi and Vathirairuppu stations are leading the rescue operations and 20 units are at the premises. The Nathampatti police have registered a case and commenced investigation, IANS reported. 

The injured persons were receiving treatment at Sivakasi Government Hospital.

Earlier in September, one man was killed in a blast at an illegal firecracker unit at Thayilpatti village in the same district. The deceased, a 60-year-old man named Shanmugaraj, suffered 100% burn injuries, and succumbed at the Sivakasi Government Hospital. Firecrackers were being manufactured in a makeshift structure when the blast occurred reportedly due to mixing of chemicals. 

A few days before the incident, on September 6, the Virudhunagar district administration had ordered 70 firecracker manufacturing units to shut down for grave violations of safety rules. Special teams constituted by the district collector conducted a series of inspections since July 2021, and ordered the closing down of those units which violated the laws. 

Prior to that in March 2021, three people died in a blast at a colour matches factory in the district. In February the same year, 21 people died in another explosion in a firecracker factory near Sattur in Virudhunagar. 

Watch: In India’s firework capital, workers are risking their lives to illegally make crackers at home

With PTI and IANS inputs 

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