Two persons were injured and three others were trapped under a building due to a fire at Nehruji Nagar in Srivilliputhur on Monday, November 15. Due to the explosion, the two-storey building was completely razed, say police personnel. The police say that some explosives were illegally kept at the apartment and caused the fire. The Nehruji Nagar of Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar district has close to 500 apartments and is considered one of the busiest locations. One Ramanathan had constructed a house and has been living there.
According to police, Ramanathan is said to be running a paper tube manufacturing unit. He has allegedly been manufacturing illegal explosives, believed to be firecrackers, and had stored them at his residence. However, on Monday evening, a fire broke out in his apartment, causing the whole building to collapse within minutes, said police. Two people, Velmurugan and Manoj Kumar, who sustained grievous burn injuries have been admitted at the Government General Hospital in Sivakasi. Three others, who the police assume are women, are trapped under the debris.
As the fire continues in the building, the fire and rescue personnel have been deployed to put off the fire and rescue other workers. The Sivakasi police have registered a case and began an inquiry. However, it is said that Ramanathan has been absconding since the incident.
This is the second such incident in two months in Virudhunagar district where firecrackers have injured people. On September 10,one man was killed and seven others were severely injured in a blast at a firecracker unit at Thayilpatti village of the district. According to reports, an illegal unit was operating from a makeshift structure and the blast resulted during mixing of chemicals.
As a measure to ensure no such incidents occur, the Virudhunagar Collector in early September conducted a sudden inspection and closed down 70 illegal firecracker units in the district. These units were reportedly to have violated the safety norms set by the government.
Four persons, including a pregnant woman and a child, had died in a blast at another illegal firecracker making unit in the same village earlier this year. In two separate incidents earlier this year, a total of 39 people died and many others were injured in Virudhunagar district.