Chemical friction could be the cause
By Express News Service - VIRUDHUNAGAR/MADURAI
06th September 2012 09:16 AM
The blaze at a private firecracker manufacturing unit in Virudhunagar district on Wednesday killed at least 38 people.
Describing the incident, Kattanarpatti Village panchayat president S Mariamman claimed that people from neighbouring villages rushed to witness the fire accident without heeding his warning. “Even those watching the blast from an old building died in the second explosion. They did not listen to me,” he said.
“After the first accident, workers in 45 sheds started running away from the factory. But around 400 people from nearby villages, including Mudhalipatti, Kamarajapuram, Thayarajapuram and Sandanapuram, rushed in two-wheelers to the spot to watch the blaze without realising the danger,” said an officer of the Fire and Rescue Services Department. “It was all over in 20 minutes. The fire had spread to the chemical storeroom causing a massive explosion,” he added. By the time the smoke and dust cleared, dozens of people were missing.
Virudhunagar SP Najmul Hoda led a team of 200 policemen to the spot to coordinate the rescue and relief operations. Madurai Divisional Fire Officer K Karuppaiah, holding additional charge for Virudhunagar, said over 80 fire and rescue services men and eight fire tenders were involved in containing the blaze and rescuing those trapped inside.
“The blast might have occurred due to friction of chemicals. Fancy fireworks (rockets and the like that light up the sky) by nature catch fire easily and spread quickly,” he said.
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