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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 105

Ten die in blast at firecracker unit

From S Murari, Chennai

Chennai, 20 July, ( An explosion in a firecracker unit in Sivakasi in southern Tamil Nadu on Monday left ten dead and 13 seriously injured.

Announcing this in the State Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said the licensee of the firecracker unit had been suspended and an enquiry ordered.

Besides, officials had been directed to inspect all explosives go-downs in the district to see if they observe safety norms, he said.

Mr Karunanidhi said "three of the dead were women and the condition of some of the injured, admitted to hospitals in Sivakasi and nearby Madurai, is critical".

He announced a solatium of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured.

Deputy Director (Fire Services) M. Shahul Hameed told reporters at Sivakasi that out of the 65 sheds, at least 25 were fully damaged and seven partly damaged. The fire officers said though the sheds had been constructed as per norms, negligence in handling chemicals caused the explosion.

Virudhunagar district Superintendent of Police M. Manohar said cases under Indian Penal Code sections dealing with negligence in handling explosives, resulting in deaths and grievous injuries, and under the Explosives Act had been registered.

This is the second such accident in the district within a fortnight. In the earlier blast at a firecracker unit at Vadakkampatti near Madurai, 17 persons died and over 21 were injured. The owner of the firecracker unit was arrested and an enquiry ordered.

- Asian Tribune -

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