More than 50 feared dead in Southern Indian fireworks factory blaze
05 September 2012
At least 52 persons were killed and 50 injured on September 5 in a fire at a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Sivakasi, India's cracker manufacturing hub, according to the Press Trust of India. The town is situated about 540 km (335 miles) southwest of the state capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai.
Police and fire officials said other workers could well be trapped under the debris, acccording to the PTI. The fire was brought under control by the evening, amid intermittent explosions.
Officials said the dead bodies had been accounted for from hospitals at Sattur (16), Virudhunagar (13), Sivakasi (21). Two others died on way to a hospital in Madurai.
Almost all those killed were workers, with a few would-be rescuers also falling victim to the blaze, they said.
The tragedy struck when workers were engaged in mixing chemicals for fireworks. The blaze gutted all 48 sheds located in the premises of Omshakthi fireworks factory, police and fire officials said.
They said the entire production had been stored in the sheds, against official advice.
A factory official said 300 persons were at work at the unit at the time of the incident.
In October 2009, 32 people were killed at a cracker warehouse fire in Tiruvallur district in eastern Tamil Nadu.