Sixteen people died and around 200 were injured on Friday in a series of explosions at a fireworks factory near Sattur in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu.
District Collector R Kannan stated that among the deceased, seven are women and five are men, The Times of India reported. "We have identified five men and five women. Two women are yet to be identified while the gender of the four other bodies is yet to be ascertained," he added.
The first explosion occurred at around 1.30 pm in a cracker factory named Mariammal Fireworks. Mariammal Fireworks is licensed by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO). According to the daily, the blast was triggered in a working shed when workers were handling chemicals. The fire soon spread to nearby working sheds, triggering a chain of explosions. This made it harder for the rescue teams to reach the spot and contain the blaze.
Those injured in the incident have been taken to Sattur and Sivakasi government hospitals. The death count is expected to rise as several injured have sustained severe burns.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grieef over the mishap. He wrote, "Fire at a firecracker factory in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu is saddening. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover soon. Authorities are working on the ground to assist those affected."
Fire at a firecracker factory in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu is saddening. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover soon. Authorities are working on the ground to assist those affected: PM @narendramodi- PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 12, 2021
TN Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has announced a compensation amount of Rs 3 lakh to the families of those who perished in the fire.