Three killed in explosion at blue metal quarry in Tamil Nadu's Virudhunagar

The remains of Kandasamy, Durai, and Kurusamy were recovered from the site and sent for post-mortem.
Explosion at a blue metal quarry in Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu
Explosion at a blue metal quarry in Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu
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Three people died due to an explosion in a stone quarry in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district on Wednesday, May 1. According to the police, the explosion took place around 8:30 am at a private blue metal stone quarry located in Aviyur village, near Kariapatti town, where the workers were loading explosives into a truck from a storeroom. 

According to reports, Kandasamy (47), Durai (25), and Kurusamy (60) lost their lives. Their mortal remains were recovered from the site and sent to a government hospital for post-mortem, the police told the media. A CCTV visual of the blast has also surfaced. 

According to media reports, residents of Aviyur village were alerted when they heard the explosion. Residents from the neighbouring Kadampankulam and Uppilikundu villages, along with Aviyur, have been staging a protest. The residents blocked the Madurai-Tuticorin National Highway, demanding prompt action.

Superintendent of Police, Virudhunagar district K Feroze Khan Abdullah, told TNM, “According to initial investigation, the explosive materials which were being loaded could have been accidentally mishandled. That has caused the explosion. We are, however, yet to ascertain the cause. The initial rescue work has taken place. The Controller of Explosives and other officers are inspecting the site. Once they indicate that the site is clean to complete rescue operations, our police and Fire and Rescue services will get to work.” The owner of the quarry, Sethu Raman, is being questioned by the police, he said, and added, "We are ascertaining the amount of explosives stored in that godown.” 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said, “I offer my deepest condolences and condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this blast.” He added that the government will announce relief assistance to the families of those who died once the Election Commission of India (ECI) grants permission. 

Virudhunagar district has seen several explosions in firecracker manufacturing units in the recent past. Earlier in February 2024, 10 people lost their lives and several others were injured after an explosion broke out at one such unit. A panel formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to probe the blast suggested several administrative and technical measures alongside regular monitoring of units to prevent accidents. The panel also suggested that workers be trained and certified before they are employed in handling hazardous materials. 

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