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Firecracker factory blast kills 19, injures more than 30 in India

15 February 2021

A series of explosions at a firecracker factory in southern India killed 19 people and injured over 30 on February 12. The first of the explosions happened during the afternoon at a small factory around 325 miles (520km) south of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Four workers died in hospital as a result of burn injuries while 15 people were confirmed to have died at the scene. The injured were taken to several local hospitals for treatment.

The exact cause of the blast is unknown, but local news reports that the initial explosion occurred as a result of friction during the mixing of chemicals intended for use in firecrackers. India’s Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) has said that the unit where the first explosion happened had been illegally sub-leased.

Local police are searching for several people, including the owner of the factory. Firework factory incidents are common in India due to the high number of illegal workshops where safety regulations are not adhered to. Illegally produced fireworks are often much cheaper than the legal variant.

Following the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that families of the deceased would receive 200,000 Rupees (£1,975).

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