Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the families of the two firefighters who died in the course of duty on Saturday. The fire broke out in Madurai, and Sivarajan (32) and Krishnamoorthi (28) died in the wee hours of Saturday while trying to douse it. Two other firefighters were also injured during the incident.
As per a statement issued by the Chief Minister, of the Rs 25 lakh per person, Rs 10 lakh will be given from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund and Rs 15 lakh will be given from the government funds for the ‘sense of duty and sacrifice’ of both the firefighters. The Chief Minister also said that a government job will be provided to one family member of the deceased based on their qualifications. Rs 3 lakh each will be provided to the families of firefighters Kalyana Kumar and Sinnakaruppu, who were injured while trying to douse the blaze. The state government will also take care of their medical expenses, the Chief Minister announced.
The fire started on Friday night, at an old building near a garment shop in Madurai’s Therkuvasal area. The fire started to spread swiftly and the fire and rescue services in the town were alerted. Firefighters were pressed into the task of putting out the flames. As the fire kept spreading to nearby buildings, the building where it originated started to develop cracks and collapsed, trapping the four firefighters under its debris. Krishnamoorthi and Sivarajan died before they could be taken to the hospital, and the other two who were rescued from the rubble were rushed to the Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital for treatment. Their condition is said to be critical.
The reason for the fire is yet to be ascertained, and an investigation is on to find out more about the incident.